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Molecular Cloud Structure at Galactic Scales

Abreu Vicente, Jorge

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Molecular clouds are the sites were stars are born and they play a crucial role in galactic evolution. Despite their main role on star formation and galaxy evolution, physics of molecular clouds are still poorly understood. Particularly, the processes controlling the formation, structure, and evolution of molecular clouds are still a matter of debate and so are the processes that regulate their star–forming activity. Previous to the beginning of this thesis, observational studies of molecular cloud structure and accurate measurements of star–forming activity in molecular clouds existed only for the Solar neighborhood, proving a very limited range of Galactic environments. Extending these studies to larger distances is crucial. This thesis is dedicated to provide the observational assets needed to obtain a Galactic picture of the processes involved in the molecular cloud structure and star– formation. We present the first systematic study of molecular cloud structure and evolution including molecular clouds in nearby spiral arms. We present a census of filamentary–shaped molecular clouds that are thought to be connected to the spiral Galactic structure. Finally, we also develop a new technique that improves the quality of the existing observational data to obtain more accurate observational assets, crucial in the study of molecular cloud structure.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Henning, Dr. Prof. Thomas
Place of Publication: Graduate School of Fundamental Physics, University of Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 25 January 2017
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 10:27
Date: 2017
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Dekanat der Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie
Subjects: 520 Astronomy and allied sciences
Controlled Keywords: Interstellar Medium, Star Formation, Milky Way
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