Thursday 28 Jan 2016Seminar: On the road to a (fully resolved) molecular cloud catalogue of the Galaxy

Dr Dario Colombo - MPIFR

Physics, 4th floor 14:00-15:00

The statistical description of molecular cloud properties provides important insights in the physics of the interstellar medium and, ultimately, in the processes involved in the formation of stars. While the systematic cataloging of discrete features has become a common practice for nearby galaxies, a complementary, high resolution, full molecular cloud catalog of the Milky Way does not exist yet. Most of the problem relies on the difficulty to segment the molecular emission in an edge-on galaxy. The algorithm we designed, SCIMES (Spectral Clustering for Interstellar Molecular Emission Segmentation), by considering the cloud segmentation problem in the broad framework of the graph theory, appears particularly useful to provide Giant Molecular Cloud-size objects while retaining their inner structure. The application of the code on the CO(3-2) High Resolution Survey data allowed for a robust decomposition of more than 12,000 objects in the Galactic Plane, for which we have studied integrated and resolved properties. Together with the wealth of Galactic Plane surveys and distance information available from the recent and upcoming years, this study will provide the guidelines for a future, systematic cataloging of all discrete molecular features of our own Galaxy.

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