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2018 Hot Sci @ STScI

Star Formation in the Local Universe: The Power of Resolved Stellar Populations

Presented by: Elena Sacchi (STScI)
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 30 minutes   Broadcast date: June 20, 2018
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6/20/18 Elena Sacchi (STScI) Title: Star Formation in the Local Universe: The Power of Resolved Stellar Populations Abstract: Over the past several years, it has become increasingly clear that the large-scale star formation is determined by a hierarchy of processes spanning a vast range of physical scales, and that different physical processes may lead to star formation in different interstellar and galactic environments. For nearby galaxies, we have the advantage of resolving the single stars, to study their stellar populations and star formation histories (SFHs) with the synthetic color-magnitude diagram technique and refine stellar evolution models by comparing them with the data. Within this framework, I will discuss the results obtained for galaxies of different morphological type part of the HST Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS), whose aim is to investigate and connect the different scales of star formation, from young stellar clusters to local Universe galaxies. Our targets were studied both in the UV and optical bands, in order to recover their SFH from very recent to older epochs and to understand whether and how the star formation process may depend on the morphological, dynamical and environmental properties of the galaxies. In particular, we analyzed DDO 68, a very metal-poor dwarf irregular, NGC 4449, a Magellanic irregular, and NGC 7793, a flocculent spiral, finding clear correlations of SF enhancement with merging and interactions.