Star formation coherence in spiral galaxies

J. S. Gallagher, Paul Scowen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Hα emission line equivalent width provides a powerful evolutionary diagnostic for galaxies by comparing recent star formation rates (SFRs) to those during the past several Gyr. Substantial variations exist in Ha equivalent widths for spirals of similar optical color, suggesting that substantial short-term variations in SFRs are relatively common. These could result from a variety of factors and in this paper we explore the role which coherent star formation processes on large scales might play in producing short-term SFR variations. We illustrate some of these possibilities with new Hubble Space Telescope imaging observations of the giant Sc spiral M101.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalRevista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica: Serie de Conferencias
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995
Event5th Mexico-Texas Conference on Astrophysics: Gaseous Nebulae and Star Formation - Tequesquitengo, Mor, Mexico
Duration: Apr 3 1995Apr 5 1995


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • H II regions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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