PHANGS-JWST First Results: Spurring on Star Formation: JWST Reveals Localised Star Formation in a Spiral Arm Spur of NGC 628

Rowan Smith, et al.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We combine JWST observations with ALMA CO and VLT-MUSE Hα data to examine off-spiral arm star formation in the face-on, grand-design spiral galaxy NGC 628. We focus on the northern spiral arm, around a galactocentric radius of 3-4 kpc, and study two spurs. These form an interesting contrast, as one is CO-rich and one CO-poor, and they have a maximum azimuthal offset in MIRI 21μm and MUSE Hα of around 40∘ (CO-rich) and 55∘ (CO-poor) from the spiral arm. The star formation rate is higher in the regions of the spurs near to spiral arms, but the star formation efficiency appears relatively constant. Given the spiral pattern speed and rotation curve of this galaxy and assuming material exiting the arms undergoes purely circular motion, these offsets would be reached in 100-150 Myr, significantly longer than the 21μm and Hα star formation timescales (both
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Nov 2022

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