Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, INAF, Roma
The star formation process involves a continuous gas flow from galactic (kpc) down to stellar (AU) scales. While targeted observations of single star forming sources are needed to understand the steps of this process with increasing detail, large unbiased Galactic plane surveys permit to reconstruct the map of star forming sites across the Milky Way, considered as an unique star formation engine. On the one hand, such surveys provide the community with a huge number of candidate targets for future follow-up observations with state-of-the-art telescope facilities, on the other hand they can provide reliable estimates of global parameters, such as Galactic star formation efficiency and rate, through which it is possible to establish comparisons with other galaxies. In this talk I will review the main results of recent FIR/sub-mm continuum emission Galactic surveys, with special attention to the Hi-GAL Herschel project, having the advantage (but also the complication) of being a multi-wavelength survey covering the spectral range in which the cold interstellar dust is expected to emit. The subsequent VIALACTEA project represents an articulate effort to combine Hi-GAL with other continuum and line surveys to refine the census of star forming clumps in the Galactic plane, and to use it to describe the Milky Way as a whole. Interpretation limitations imposed by the loss of detail with increasing distance are also discussed.
2018 December 13, 15:00
Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa (Seminar room)
Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa