Linking the Milky Way and Nearby Galaxies

Scientific Rationale

ISM and star-formation studies of the Milky Way and of nearby galaxies are being performed on progressively overlapping physical scales. This is a result of the increasing resolution of simulations and observations. The gap between Galactic and extragalactic studies is bridged by facilities such as ALMA, GAIA, JVLA, MUSE, and the upcoming JWST. In spite of the common topics, the communities remain separated. Galaxy simulations begin to break-down when sub-cloud-scale physics are not included and, conversely, studies of the Milky Way star-formation often ignore the larger, galactic context. Thus, now is the time to facilitate discussion between the Galactic and nearby galaxy communities among theorists and observers alike.

Fundamental topics we aim to address in relation to these overlapping physical scales are:

3D structure and dynamics of the ISM, including the impact of bars, spiral arms, and nuclear activity -- Cloud formation, cloud-scale and sub-cloud-scale physics, structure from filaments to cores, phase transitions, stellar feedback, and environmental factors -- Chemistry of the ISM, including tracers of physical conditions, formation and survival of molecular species -- The integration of sub-GMC/MC physics into larger-scale simulations with episodic star formation, feedback, and a universal star formation law.


This conference is sponsored by the University of Helsinki Physics Department, the Finnish Center for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV).