Misty La Vigne's Research

Misty La Vigne

I am a graduate student in the Laboratory for Millimeter-wave Astronomy group, working under the direction of Stuart Vogel, with additional advisement from Eve Ostriker (the Center for Theory and Computation). For my thesis I am studying star formation rates and mechanisms in nearby spiral galaxies, on local and global scales, using multi-wavelength space and ground based observations.

ADS Listing for past 5 years

Currently I am using the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter Astronomy (CARMA) to map the dense molecular gas that will form stars with the 12CO(1-0) emission line at high resolution (2-3") in four target spiral galaxies: NGC 0628, NGC 3627, NGC 4736, and NGC 5055. These galaxies were chosen based on their morphology and Hubble type. In addition to the CARMA data I am also using previous 12CO(1-0) observations from the Survey of Nearby Galaxies (SONG) made with the Berkeley Illinois Maryland Association (BIMA).

Kitt Peak (nm)
I have also observed with both the 2-meter and 4-meter telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. Using the 2-meter I imaged ionized gas in galaxies using the H-alpha recombination line of hydrogen. At the 4-meter I obtained long-slit spectra, also using the H-alpha recombination line, along the major axis of galaxies to derive their rotation curve.

Hubble Space Telescope (nm)
High resolution, 0.1-0.05", archival images from the Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) provide details of local morphology within galaxies, which I have used to classify types of substructure within spiral arms associated with star formation. (Hubble Space Telesope Image - credit http://michaelgr.files.wordpress.com)

Spitzer Space Telescope (µm)
I am using archival observations from both the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC) and the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS) to calibrate the amount of ionizing radiation from newly formed stars that is absorbed and reradiated by dust. (Spitzerlarge.jpg - credit http://www.star.le.ac.uk)

VLA (cm)
In combination with the molecular gas observations from CARMA + SONG, I am using archival Very Large Array (VLA) observations of atomic hydrogen to determine the total amount of gas in the galaxies.

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