Letters of Intent for 2015

LoI 2015-193
Focus Meeting: The Anatomy of Nearby Starburst Galaxies

Date: 4 August 2015 to 7 August 2015
Location: GA Hawaii, United States
Contact: Juergen Ott (jott@nrao.edu)
Coordinating division: Division J Galaxies and Cosmology
Co-Chairs of SOC: Juergen Ott (NRAO)
David Meier (NMT)
Fabian Walter (MPIA)
Kotaro Kohno (U Tokyo)
Thaisa Storchi-Bergmann (UFRGS)
Co-Chairs of LOC: Juergen Ott (NRAO)
Fabian Walter (MPIA)



* characterization of starburst phases: triggering -> maintenance ->
post-starburst phase

* the properties of the ISM phases

* Stellar populations, star clusters and the IMF

* molecular composition and chemistry of starforming gas

* the radiative and shock feedback inside a starburst

* the generation and role of magnetic field in starbursts

* starbursts in low metallicity environments

* large-scale feedback mechanisms: energetics and masses of outflows,
outflow mechanisms, impact of outflows on the evolution of the host

* mergers and the starburst phenomenon

* the influence of galactic dynamics on the starbursts

* starburst-AGN connection

* the key physics that local galaxy templates must characterize to
explain high redshift starburst galaxies



Starburst Galaxies are the powerhouses of the Universe. Although the cosmic star formation rate is lower in the Local Universe than at high redshift, the local neighborhood is host to a wide variety of starburst galaxies that due to their proximity can be studied in extreme detail. Local starbursts are often extremely compact, but dramatically influence their environments from parsecs to megaparsec scales. It is by resolving the interplay between different phases of the ISM on the physically relevant scales that the evolution of starburst galaxies can best be understood. The starburst phenomenon in galaxies of all sizes is also vital for galaxy evolution in general. It is a potential explanation for feedback mechanisms that control gas consumption, accretion and ejection, as well as act as a method to distribute metals to the interstellar and intergalactic medium. Identifying local representatives that best capture evolving starburst processes are key to characterizing star formation across cosmic time.

With telescopes such as ALMA, Jansky VLA, HERSCHEL, SOFIA, a new generation of NIR instruments on large optical telescopes, as well as high energy telescopes, the understanding of the processes that lead to a starburst, maintain the starburst phase and drive the outflows can be studied to unprecedented detail. In particular the molecular component with its multitude of molecular tracers opens up a new era in mapping the physical state of individual starbursts. The IAU General Assembly 2015 in Hawaii will therefore be a very timely event to discuss the latest results on nearby starburst galaxies.