Star formation drives galaxy evolution. Yet, our relatively poor understanding of the process of star formation in the extragalactic realm has been a major impediment toward obtaining a complete understanding of galaxy formation and evolution. Intriguing clues have been provided by empirical scaling relations between the star formation rates and such parameters as the gaseous and stellar contents of galaxies. However, the physical nature of these relations is not well established.
Over the past decades considerable progress has been made in advancing our understanding of star formation in local regions of the Milky Way. In my coloquium I will show how knowledge of the process of star formation gained in studies of Giant Molecular Clouds of the local Milky Way is providing valuable insights into the physical nature of the star formation scaling relations in galaxies.
Speaker: Charles Lada, Harvard
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