The PHANGS-JWST Treasury survey: star formation, feedback, and dust physics at high angular resolution in nearby galaxies

Janice C. Lee*, Karin M. Sandstrom, Adam K. Leroy, David A. Thilker, Eva Schinnerer, Erik Rosolowsky, Kirsten L. Larson, Oleg V. Egorov, Thomas G. Williams, Judy Schmidt, Eric Emsellem, Gagandeep S. Anand, Ashley T. Barnes, Francesco Belfiore, Ivana Beslic, Frank Bigiel, Guillermo A. Blanc, Alberto D. Bolatto, Mederic Boquien, Jakob den BrokYixian Cao, Rupali Chandar, Jeremy Chastenet, Melanie Chevance, I-Da Chiang, Enrico Congiu, Daniel A. Dale, Sinan Deger, Cosima Eibensteiner, Christopher M. Faesi, Simon C. O. Glover, Kathryn Grasha, Brent Groves, Hamid Hassani, Kiana F. Henny, Jonathan D. Henshaw, Nils Hoyer, Annie Hughes, Sarah Jeffreson, Marıa J. Jimenez-Donaire, Jaeyeon Kim, Hwihyun Kim, Ralf S. Klessen, Eric W. Koch, Kathryn Kreckel, J. M. Diederik Kruijssen, Jing Li, Daizhong Liu, Laura A. Lopez, Daniel Maschmann, Ness Mayker Chen, Sharon E. Meidt, Eric J. Murphy, Justus Neumann, Nadine Neumayer, Hsi-An Pan, Ismael Pessa, Jerome Pety, Miguel Querejeta, Francesca Pinna, M. Jimena Rodrıguez, Toshiki Saito, Patricia Sanchez-Blazquez, Francesco Santoro, Amy Sardone, Rowan J. Smith, Mattia C. Sormani, Fabian Scheuermann, Sophia K. Stuber, Jessica Sutter, Jiayi Sun, Yu-Hsuan Teng, Robin G. Tress, Antonio Usero, Elizabeth J. Watkins, Bradley C. Whitmore, Alessandro Razza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The PHANGS collaboration has been building a reference data set for the multiscale, multiphase study of star formation and the interstellar medium (ISM) in nearby galaxies. With the successful launch and commissioning of JWST, we can now obtain high-resolution infrared imaging to probe the youngest stellar populations and dust emission on the scales of star clusters and molecular clouds (∼5–50 pc). In Cycle 1, PHANGS is conducting an eight-band imaging survey from 2 to 21 μm of 19 nearby spiral galaxies. Optical integral field spectroscopy, CO(2–1) mapping, and UV-optical imaging for all 19 galaxies have been obtained through large programs with ALMA, VLT-MUSE, and Hubble. PHANGS–JWST enables a full inventory of star formation, accurate measurement of the mass and age of star clusters, identification of the youngest embedded stellar populations, and characterization of the physical state of small dust grains. When combined with Hubble catalogs of ∼10,000 star clusters, MUSE spectroscopic mapping of ∼20,000 H ii regions, and ∼12,000 ALMA-identified molecular clouds, it becomes possible to measure the timescales and efficiencies of the earliest phases of star formation and feedback, build an empirical model of the dependence of small dust grain properties on local ISM conditions, and test our understanding of how dust-reprocessed starlight traces star formation activity, all across a diversity of galactic environments. Here we describe the PHANGS–JWST Treasury survey, present the remarkable imaging obtained in the first few months of science operations, and provide context for the initial results presented in the first series of PHANGS–JWST publications.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL17
Number of pages23
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume944
Issue number2
Early online date16 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2023

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