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PHANGS-JWST First Results: The Dust Filament Network of NGC 628 and Its Relation to Star Formation Activity

Thilker, DA, Lee, JC, Deger, S, Barnes, AT, Bigiel, F, Boquien, M, Cao, Y, Chevance, M, Dale, DA, Egorov, OV, Glover, SCO, Grasha, K, Henshaw, JD, Klessen, RS, Koch, E, Kruijssen, JMD, Leroy, AK, Lessing, RA, Meidt, SE, Pinna, F , Querejeta, M, Rosolowsky, E, Sandstrom, KM, Schinnerer, E, Smith, RJ, Watkins, EJ, Williams, TG, Anand, GS, Belfiore, F, Blanc, GA, Chandar, R, Congiu, E, Emsellem, E, Groves, B, Kreckel, K, Larson, KL, Liu, D, Pessa, I and Whitmore, BC (2023) PHANGS-JWST First Results: The Dust Filament Network of NGC 628 and Its Relation to Star Formation Activity. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 944 (2). ISSN 2041-8205

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PHANGS-JWST mid-infrared (MIR) imaging of nearby spiral galaxies has revealed ubiquitous filaments of dust emission in intricate detail. We present a pilot study to systematically map the dust filament network (DFN) at multiple scales between 25 and 400 pc in NGC 628. MIRI images at 7.7, 10, 11.3, and 21 μm of NGC 628 are used to generate maps of the filaments in emission, while PHANGS-HST B-band imaging yields maps of dust attenuation features. We quantify the correspondence between filaments traced by MIR thermal continuum/polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission and filaments detected via extinction/scattering of visible light; the fraction of MIR flux contained in the DFN; and the fraction of H ii regions, young star clusters, and associations within the DFN. We examine the dependence of these quantities on the physical scale at which the DFN is extracted. With our highest-resolution DFN maps (25 pc filament width), we find that filaments in emission and attenuation are cospatial in 40% of sight lines, often exhibiting detailed morphological agreement; that ∼30% of the MIR flux is associated with the DFN; and that 75%-80% of the star formation in H ii regions and 60% of the mass in star clusters younger than 5 Myr are contained within the DFN. However, the DFN at this scale is anticorrelated with looser associations of stars younger than 5 Myr identified using PHANGS-HST near-UV imaging. We discuss the impact of these findings on studies of star formation and the interstellar medium, and the broad range of new investigations enabled by multiscale maps of the DFN.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences; Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2023 12:21
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2023 12:30
DOI or ID number: 10.3847/2041-8213/acaeac
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19848
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