Star Formation & The ISM


SPICA The Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) is a proposed space telescope for cosmology and astrophysics which will observe the sky from 12 to 230 micrometer. Its sensitivity would be more than two orders of magnitude over both Spitzer and Herschel space telescopes at similar wavelengths. SPICA will make it possible to study proto-planetary disks, star formation, and evolution of galaxies. SPICA will obtain high spatial resolution polarimetry observations to study the role of magnetic fields in structure formation and star formation in galaxies. As members of the SPICA science working groups, we will collaborate on Star Formation and Galaxy Evolution studies.

Recent publication: Probing the cold magnetized Universe with SPICA-POL (B-BOP)


IPM staff involved: F. S. Tabatabaei


The Interpreting the Millimetre Emission of Galaxies with IRAM and NIKA2 (IMEGIN) is a Guaranteed Time Large program of 200h targeting Nearby Galaxies, recently granted to the NIKA2 collaboration from around 10 institutes. Studying the cold dust and the neutral gas content of the interstellar medium, physical properties of dust grains, and constraining the radio-infrared spectral energy distribution in galaxies. Providing the information about the radio continuum emission and its components, the thermal free-free and the nonthermal synchrotron emission, for the IMEGIN sample will be one of our major tasks in this collaboration.

More info about NIKA2:

A related publication: The NIKA2 instrument at 30-m IRAM telescope: performance and results

More info about IRAM and its 30-m telescope:

IPM staff involved: F. S. Tabatabaei


KINGFISH Key Insight on Nearby Galaxies: a Far-infrared Survey with Herschel

KINGFISH is an imaging and spectroscopic survey of 61 nearby (d < 30 Mpc>) galaxies with the Herschel space observatory. The galaxies are chosen to cover a wide range of properties and local interstellar medium (ISM) environments found in the Nearby Universe. Its broad goals are to characterize the ISM of present-day galaxies, the heating and cooling of their gaseous and dust components, and to better understand the physical processes linking star formation and the ISM. The Herschel imaging consists of complete maps for the galaxies at 70, 100, 160, 250, 350, and 500 μm. The spectral line imaging of the principal atomic ISM cooling lines ([OI]63 μm, [OIII]88 μm, [NII]122,205 μm, and [CII]158 μm) covers sub-regions in the centers and disks. The released data products and scientific results are found in the KINGFISH LEGACY website.

The radio follow-up studies of the KINGFISH provides a unique opportunity to investigate the role of the thermal and nonthermal processes in energy balance and structure formation in galaxies. As the team members, we are studying the correlations between these processes in molecular clouds on sub-kpc scales in the ISM of the KINGFISH galaxies.

Related publications:

Papers in preparatory:

  • Thermal and Nonthermal Radio Continuum Maps of the KINGFISH Galaxies
  • Energy Balance of Molecular Gas in Galaxies

IPM staff involved: F. S. Tabatabaei


MKSPthe LOFAR Magnetism Key Science Project (MKSP) is a project to study the cosmic magnetism, i.e., the magnetic field on different scales in galaxies near and far and in intergalactic filaments as traced by the synchrotron emission.

The Low Frequency Array or LOFAR is a large radio telescope network located mainly in the Netherlands, operating at 1.3 m (230 MHz) to 30 m (10.0 MHz) with two types of antennas: Low Band Antenna (LBA) and High Band Antenna (HBA), optimized for 10-80 MHz and 120-240 MHz, respectively.

As members of the MKSP, we collaborate on studies of nearby galaxies such as M33 and the SINGS galaxies.

Related papers:

More info about the MKSP:

More info on the LOFAR:

IPM staff involved: F. S. Tabatabaei


The Cloud-scale Radio Surveys of Star Formation and Feedback in Triangulum (CRASSFIT) is performed at C band (5-7 GHz) and L band (1-2 GHz) with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) and at 320 MHz with the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (GMRT) to resolve spatial scales of < 40 pc. These scales are important to address the physical conditions of gas clouds seeding star clusters and hence important to investigate factors regulating the formation of stars. The role of feedback, turbulence, and magnetic fields are studied in this project.

Related publications:

IPM staff involved: F. S. Tabatabaei





The Thermal and Non-Thermal Processes in The Magellanic Clouds

Image: The Large Magellanic Cloud. Credit: Red: Radio continuum (B.-Q. For, 2018), Green Ha (Smith & MCELS Team, 1999), Blue Dust mass surface density (Chastenet et al. 2017,2019).
The interstellar medium in low-mass galaxies differs from that in normal spirals in several aspects such as the molecular to atomic content, dust and metals as the best known parameters. It is also likely that the equilibrium conditions between different ISM phases and the energy balance between the different ISM components differ from those in more massive systems. We study these as well as the interplay between the massive star formation and the ISM in our nearest neighbors, The Magellanic Clouds.

People involved:


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