A resolved star formation study of star clusters and their ionised regions in NGC 628

NGC 628 is a nearby, face on spiral galaxy with well defined spiral arms. NGC 628 has appeared in both the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS) with a complete catalog of the young clusters candidates from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Stars, Ionized Gas, Nebular Abundances Legacy Survey (SIGNALS) that gives a consensus of the ionized HII regions. The HII regions and their star clusters are expected follow the same spatial pattern and define the shape of the galaxy, hinting for a possible connection in their formation, and thus, their physical properties. Little work has been done, however, to connect star clusters (ages, masses, metallicities) with the properties of their ionized regions (size, geometry, metallicity, location).

As part of this project, you will

  1. Cross-correlate the star clusters from the LEGUS catalog with the SIGNALS HII region catalog and
  2. Compare the age, size, and morphology of the star clusters with the size and extent of the HII regions.

A possible extension to compare with the molecular gas properties from ALMA observations is also possible.

This project will allow you to gain invaluable experience learning new computer software, teach you to write your own code in Python, develop your critical thinking skills while we advance our understanding of star formation and galaxy evolution, and gain experience participating in a scientific collaboration. For more information about this potential research topic, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.