Author

# Fabian Walter

Bio: Fabian Walter is an academic researcher from Max Planck Society. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Galaxy & Star formation. The author has an hindex of 146, co-authored 999 publication(s) receiving 83016 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Fabian Walter include California Institute of Technology & University of Bonn.
Topics: Galaxy

##### Papers
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TL;DR: In this paper, the star formation efficiency (SFE) per unit of gas in 23 nearby galaxies and compare it with expectations from proposed star formation laws and thresholds was measured, and the authors interpreted this decline as a strong dependence of giant molecular cloud (GMC) formation on environment.
Abstract: We measure the star formation efficiency (SFE), the star formation rate (SFR) per unit of gas, in 23 nearby galaxies and compare it with expectations from proposed star formation laws and thresholds. We use H I maps from The H I Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS) and derive H2 maps of CO measured by HERA CO-Line Extragalactic Survey and Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association Survey of Nearby Galaxies. We estimate the SFR by combining Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) far-ultraviolet maps and the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS) 24 ?m maps, infer stellar surface density profiles from SINGS 3.6 ?m data, and use kinematics from THINGS. We measure the SFE as a function of the free fall and orbital timescales, midplane gas pressure, stability of the gas disk to collapse (including the effects of stars), the ability of perturbations to grow despite shear, and the ability of a cold phase to form. In spirals, the SFE of H2 alone is nearly constant at (5.25 ? 2.5) ? 10?10 yr?1 (equivalent to an H2 depletion time of 1.9 ? 109 yr) as a function of all of these variables at our 800 pc resolution. Where the interstellar medium (ISM) is mostly H I, however, the SFE decreases with increasing radius in both spiral and dwarf galaxies, a decline reasonably described by an exponential with scale length 0.2r 25-0.25r 25. We interpret this decline as a strong dependence of giant molecular cloud (GMC) formation on environment. The ratio of molecular-to-atomic gas appears to be a smooth function of radius, stellar surface density, and pressure spanning from the H2-dominated to H I-dominated ISM. The radial decline in SFE is too steep to be reproduced only by increases in the free-fall time or orbital time. Thresholds for large-scale instability suggest that our disks are stable or marginally stable and do not show a clear link to the declining SFE. We suggest that ISM physics below the scales that we observe?phase balance in the H I, H2 formation and destruction, and stellar feedback?governs the formation of GMCs from H I.

1,734 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between star formation rate surface density and gas surface density at sub-kpc resolution in a sample of 18 nearby galaxies and investigate how the star formation law differs between the H2 dominated centers of spiral galaxies, their H I dominated outskirts and the H I rich late-type/dwarf galaxies.
Abstract: We present a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between star formation rate surface density, ΣSFR, and gas surface density, Σgas, at sub-kpc resolution in a sample of 18 nearby galaxies. We use high-resolution H I data from The H I Nearby Galaxy Survey, CO data from HERACLES and the BIMA Survey of Nearby Galaxies, 24 μm data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and UV data from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer. We target seven spiral galaxies and 11 late-type/dwarf galaxies and investigate how the star formation law differs between the H2 dominated centers of spiral galaxies, their H I dominated outskirts and the H I rich late-type/dwarf galaxies. We find that a Schmidt-type power law with index N = 1.0 ± 0.2 relates ΣSFR and ΣH2 across our sample of spiral galaxies, i.e., that H2 forms stars at a constant efficiency in spirals. The average molecular gas depletion time is ~2 × 109 years. The range of ΣH2 over which we measure this relation is ~3-50 M ☉ pc–2, significantly lower than in starburst environments. We find the same results when performing a pixel-by-pixel analysis, averaging in radial bins, or when varying the star formation tracer used. We interpret the linear relation and constant depletion time as evidence that stars are forming in giant molecular clouds with approximately uniform properties and that ΣH2 may be more a measure of the filling fraction of giant molecular clouds than changing conditions in the molecular gas. The relationship between total gas surface density (Σgas) and ΣSFR varies dramatically among and within spiral galaxies. Most galaxies show little or no correlation between ΣHI and ΣSFR. As a result, the star formation efficiency (SFE), ΣSFR/Σgas, varies strongly across our sample and within individual galaxies. We show that this variation is systematic and consistent with the SFE being set by local environmental factors: in spirals the SFE is a clear function of radius, while the dwarf galaxies in our sample display SFEs similar to those found in the outer optical disks of the spirals. We attribute the similarity to common environments (low density, low metallicity, H I dominated) and argue that shear (which is typically absent in dwarfs) cannot drive the SFE. In addition to a molecular Schmidt law, the other general feature of our sample is a sharp saturation of H I surface densities at ΣHI ≈ 9 M ☉ pc–2 in both the spiral and dwarf galaxies. In the case of the spirals, we observe gas in excess of this limit to be molecular.

1,686 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

TL;DR: The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS) as discussed by the authors is a high spectral (≤52kms −1 ) and spatial (∼ 6 ′′ ) resolution survey of HI emission in 34 nearby galaxies obtained using the NRAO Very Large Array (VLA).
Abstract: We present “The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS)”, a high spectral (≤52kms −1 ) and spatial (∼ 6 ′′ ) resolution survey of HI emission in 34 nearby galaxies obtained using the NRAO Very Large Array (VLA) The overarching scientific goal of THINGS is to investigate fundamental characteristics of the interstellar medium (ISM) related to galaxy morphology, star formation and mass distribution across the Hubble sequence Unique characteristics of the THINGS database are the homogeneous sensitivity as well as spatial and velocity resolution of the HI data which is at the limit of what can be achieved with the VLA for a significant number of galaxies A sample of 34 objects at distances 2 < D <15 Mpc (resulting in linear resolutions of ∼100 to 500pc) are targeted in THINGS, covering a wide range of star formation rates (∼ 10 −3 to 6 M⊙ yr −1 ), total HI masses MHI (001 to 14×10 9 M⊙), absolute luminosities MB (–115 to –217mag) and metallicities (75 to 92 in units of 12+log[O/H]) We describe the setup of the VLA observations, the data reduction procedures and the creation of the final THINGS data products We present an atlas of the integrated HI maps, the velocity fields, the second moment (velocity dispersion) maps and individual channel maps of each THINGS galaxy The THINGS data products are made publicly available through a dedicated webpage Accompanying THINGS papers address issues such as the small–scale structure of the ISM, the (dark) matter distribution in THINGS galaxies, and the processes leading to star formation Subject headings: surveys — galaxies: structure — galaxies: ISM — ISM: general — ISM: atoms — radio lines: galaxies

1,237 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: Pan-STARRS1 has carried out a set of distinct synoptic imaging sky surveys including the 3ππ$Steradian Survey and the Medium Deep Survey in 5 bands as mentioned in this paper. Abstract: Pan-STARRS1 has carried out a set of distinct synoptic imaging sky surveys including the$3\pi$Steradian Survey and the Medium Deep Survey in 5 bands ($grizy_{P1}$). The mean 5$\sigma$point source limiting sensitivities in the stacked 3$\pi$Steradian Survey in$grizy_{P1}$are (23.3, 23.2, 23.1, 22.3, 21.4) respectively. The upper bound on the systematic uncertainty in the photometric calibration across the sky is 7-12 millimag depending on the bandpass. The systematic uncertainty of the astrometric calibration using the Gaia frame comes from a comparison of the results with Gaia: the standard deviation of the mean and median residuals ($ \Delta ra, \Delta dec \$) are (2.3, 1.7) milliarcsec, and (3.1, 4.8) milliarcsec respectively. The Pan-STARRS system and the design of the PS1 surveys are described and an overview of the resulting image and catalog data products and their basic characteristics are described together with a summary of important results. The images, reduced data products, and derived data products from the Pan-STARRS1 surveys are available to the community from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) at STScI.

1,216 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The SIRTF Nearby Galaxy Survey (SINGS) as mentioned in this paper is a comprehensive infrared imaging and spectroscopic survey of 75 nearby galaxies and its primary goal is to characterize the infrared emission of galaxies and their principal infrared-emitting components across a broad range of galaxy properties and star formation environments.
Abstract: The SIRTF Nearby Galaxy Survey is a comprehensive infrared imaging and spectroscopic survey of 75 nearby galaxies. Its primary goal is to characterize the infrared emission of galaxies and their principal infrared-emitting components, across a broad range of galaxy properties and star formation environments. SINGS will provide new insights into the physical processes connecting star formation to the interstellar medium properties of galaxies and provide a vital foundation for understanding infrared observations of the distant universe and ultraluminous and active galaxies. The galaxy sample and observing strategy have been designed to maximize the scientific and archival value of the data set for the SIRTF user community at large. The SIRTF images and spectra will be supplemented by a comprehensive multiwavelength library of ancillary and complementary observations, including radio continuum, H i, CO, submillimeter, BVRIJHK ,H a ,P aa, ultraviolet, and X-ray data. This paper describes the main astrophysical issues to be addressed by SINGS, the galaxy sample and the observing strategy, and the SIRTF and other ancillary data products.

1,210 citations

##### Cited by
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TL;DR: The second Gaia data release, Gaia DR2 as mentioned in this paper, is a major advance with respect to Gaia DR1 in terms of completeness, performance, and richness of the data products.
Abstract: Context. We present the second Gaia data release, Gaia DR2, consisting of astrometry, photometry, radial velocities, and information on astrophysical parameters and variability, for sources brighter than magnitude 21. In addition epoch astrometry and photometry are provided for a modest sample of minor planets in the solar system. Aims: A summary of the contents of Gaia DR2 is presented, accompanied by a discussion on the differences with respect to Gaia DR1 and an overview of the main limitations which are still present in the survey. Recommendations are made on the responsible use of Gaia DR2 results. Methods: The raw data collected with the Gaia instruments during the first 22 months of the mission have been processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) and turned into this second data release, which represents a major advance with respect to Gaia DR1 in terms of completeness, performance, and richness of the data products. Results: Gaia DR2 contains celestial positions and the apparent brightness in G for approximately 1.7 billion sources. For 1.3 billion of those sources, parallaxes and proper motions are in addition available. The sample of sources for which variability information is provided is expanded to 0.5 million stars. This data release contains four new elements: broad-band colour information in the form of the apparent brightness in the GBP (330-680 nm) and GRP (630-1050 nm) bands is available for 1.4 billion sources; median radial velocities for some 7 million sources are presented; for between 77 and 161 million sources estimates are provided of the stellar effective temperature, extinction, reddening, and radius and luminosity; and for a pre-selected list of 14 000 minor planets in the solar system epoch astrometry and photometry are presented. Finally, Gaia DR2 also represents a new materialisation of the celestial reference frame in the optical, the Gaia-CRF2, which is the first optical reference frame based solely on extragalactic sources. There are notable changes in the photometric system and the catalogue source list with respect to Gaia DR1, and we stress the need to consider the two data releases as independent. Conclusions: Gaia DR2 represents a major achievement for the Gaia mission, delivering on the long standing promise to provide parallaxes and proper motions for over 1 billion stars, and representing a first step in the availability of complementary radial velocity and source astrophysical information for a sample of stars in the Gaia survey which covers a very substantial fraction of the volume of our galaxy.

7,024 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Dec 2010
TL;DR: The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is mapping the whole sky following its launch on 14 December 2009 and completed its first full coverage of the sky on July 17 as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The all sky surveys done by the Palomar Observatory Schmidt, the European Southern Observatory Schmidt, and the United Kingdom Schmidt, the InfraRed Astronomical Satellite and the 2 Micron All Sky Survey have proven to be extremely useful tools for astronomy with value that lasts for decades. The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer is mapping the whole sky following its launch on 14 December 2009. WISE began surveying the sky on 14 Jan 2010 and completed its first full coverage of the sky on July 17. The survey will continue to cover the sky a second time until the cryogen is exhausted (anticipated in November 2010). WISE is achieving 5 sigma point source sensitivities better than 0.08, 0.11, 1 and 6 mJy in unconfused regions on the ecliptic in bands centered at wavelengths of 3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 micrometers. Sensitivity improves toward the ecliptic poles due to denser coverage and lower zodiacal background. The angular resolution is 6.1", 6.4", 6.5" and 12.0" at 3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 micrometers, and the astrometric precision for high SNR sources is better than 0.15".

6,312 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Nabila Aghanim1, Yashar Akrami2, Yashar Akrami3, Yashar Akrami4  +229 moreInstitutions (70)
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present cosmological parameter results from the full-mission Planck measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies, combining information from the temperature and polarization maps and the lensing reconstruction.
Abstract: We present cosmological parameter results from the ﬁnal full-mission Planck measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies, combining information from the temperature and polarization maps and the lensing reconstruction Compared to the 2015 results, improved measurements of large-scale polarization allow the reionization optical depth to be measured with higher precision, leading to signiﬁcant gains in the precision of other correlated parameters Improved modelling of the small-scale polarization leads to more robust constraints on manyparameters,withresidualmodellinguncertaintiesestimatedtoaﬀectthemonlyatthe05σlevelWeﬁndgoodconsistencywiththestandard spatially-ﬂat6-parameter ΛCDMcosmologyhavingapower-lawspectrumofadiabaticscalarperturbations(denoted“base ΛCDM”inthispaper), from polarization, temperature, and lensing, separately and in combination A combined analysis gives dark matter density Ωch2 = 0120±0001, baryon density Ωbh2 = 00224±00001, scalar spectral index ns = 0965±0004, and optical depth τ = 0054±0007 (in this abstract we quote 68% conﬁdence regions on measured parameters and 95% on upper limits) The angular acoustic scale is measured to 003% precision, with 100θ∗ = 10411±00003Theseresultsareonlyweaklydependentonthecosmologicalmodelandremainstable,withsomewhatincreasederrors, in many commonly considered extensions Assuming the base-ΛCDM cosmology, the inferred (model-dependent) late-Universe parameters are: HubbleconstantH0 = (674±05)kms−1Mpc−1;matterdensityparameterΩm = 0315±0007;andmatterﬂuctuationamplitudeσ8 = 0811±0006 We ﬁnd no compelling evidence for extensions to the base-ΛCDM model Combining with baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) measurements (and consideringsingle-parameterextensions)weconstraintheeﬀectiveextrarelativisticdegreesoffreedomtobe Neﬀ = 299±017,inagreementwith the Standard Model prediction Neﬀ = 3046, and ﬁnd that the neutrino mass is tightly constrained toPmν < 012 eV The CMB spectra continue to prefer higher lensing amplitudesthan predicted in base ΛCDM at over 2σ, which pulls some parameters that aﬀect thelensing amplitude away from the ΛCDM model; however, this is not supported by the lensing reconstruction or (in models that also change the background geometry) BAOdataThejointconstraintwithBAOmeasurementsonspatialcurvatureisconsistentwithaﬂatuniverse, ΩK = 0001±0002Alsocombining with Type Ia supernovae (SNe), the dark-energy equation of state parameter is measured to be w0 = −103±003, consistent with a cosmological constant We ﬁnd no evidence for deviations from a purely power-law primordial spectrum, and combining with data from BAO, BICEP2, and Keck Array data, we place a limit on the tensor-to-scalar ratio r0002 < 006 Standard big-bang nucleosynthesis predictions for the helium and deuterium abundances for the base-ΛCDM cosmology are in excellent agreement with observations The Planck base-ΛCDM results are in good agreement with BAO, SNe, and some galaxy lensing observations, but in slight tension with the Dark Energy Survey’s combined-probe results including galaxy clustering (which prefers lower ﬂuctuation amplitudes or matter density parameters), and in signiﬁcant, 36σ, tension with local measurements of the Hubble constant (which prefer a higher value) Simple model extensions that can partially resolve these tensions are not favoured by the Planck data

3,432 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Tests of general relativity at the post-Newtonian level have reached high precision, including the light deflection, the Shapiro time delay, the perihelion advance of Mercury, the Nordtvedt effect in lunar motion, and frame-dragging.
Abstract: The status of experimental tests of general relativity and of theoretical frameworks for analyzing them is reviewed and updated. Einstein’s equivalence principle (EEP) is well supported by experiments such as the Eotvos experiment, tests of local Lorentz invariance and clock experiments. Ongoing tests of EEP and of the inverse square law are searching for new interactions arising from unification or quantum gravity. Tests of general relativity at the post-Newtonian level have reached high precision, including the light deflection, the Shapiro time delay, the perihelion advance of Mercury, the Nordtvedt effect in lunar motion, and frame-dragging. Gravitational wave damping has been detected in an amount that agrees with general relativity to better than half a percent using the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, and a growing family of other binary pulsar systems is yielding new tests, especially of strong-field effects. Current and future tests of relativity will center on strong gravity and gravitational waves.

2,956 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, supermassive black holes (BHs) have been found in 85 galaxies by dynamical modeling of spatially resolved kinematics, and it has been shown that BHs and bulges coevolve by regulating each other's growth.
Abstract: Supermassive black holes (BHs) have been found in 85 galaxies by dynamical modeling of spatially resolved kinematics. The Hubble Space Telescope revolutionized BH research by advancing the subject from its proof-of-concept phase into quantitative studies of BH demographics. Most influential was the discovery of a tight correlation between BH mass and the velocity dispersion σ of the bulge component of the host galaxy. Together with similar correlations with bulge luminosity and mass, this led to the widespread belief that BHs and bulges coevolve by regulating each other's growth. Conclusions based on one set of correlations from in brightest cluster ellipticals to in the smallest galaxies dominated BH work for more than a decade. New results are now replacing this simple story with a richer and more plausible picture in which BHs correlate differently with different galaxy components. A reasonable aim is to use this progress to refine our understanding of BH-galaxy coevolution. BHs with masses of 105−106M...

2,804 citations