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18 January 2019 Tout le mois

Mark Sargent (Sussex) - Environment and interactions - How (not) to produce a starburst galaxy

Friday 18 January 2019 11:00-12:00

Over the last 10 billion years the typical activity level of star-forming galaxies has decreased by more than an order of magnitude. Observations reveal that, at both low and and high redshift, there is a population of ‘starburst’ galaxies that are significantly more active than the bulk of the rest of the population. Despite being comparatively rare, these starbursts are among the most popular targets for detailed studies of astrophysical processes, by virtue of being bright and thus readily observable. But what does it take to produce a starburst event during the peak epoch of galaxy formation at z 2, when even the average star-formation rate of the star-forming galaxy population was as high as locally observed only for the most extreme starbursting systems?
In my talk I will present new measurements of the composition of the starburst population at z<2, in terms of its split into ‘normal’ and interacting or merging galaxies. I will also review how a high star-formation efficiency - one of the trademarks of starburst events - is linked to galaxy environment based on the increasing body of literature on the interstellar medium in high-z galaxy clusters. Finally, I will discuss how measurements of host galaxy star-formation efficiency can provide clues on the interplay between starburst and AGN activity.

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