J.A.T. template series was designed 2006 by 4bp.de: www.4bp.de, www.oltrogge.ws
Science General Print
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Friday, 18 April 2008 12:14

Dust is a most important and effective tracer of the global structural, physical and evolutionary conditions of the ISM material throughout the whole life-cycle of a galaxy. From diffuse interstellar cirrus to dense molecular clouds, from protostars to post-AGB envelopes, from supershells to supernovae remnants, the equatorial plane of our Galaxy provides the ideal laboratory to carry out investigations of the global and integrated properties of the different phases of the Galactic ISM, their evolution and interactions.

In combination with complementary and already available surveys both in the continuum at adjacent wavelengths, and in atomic and molecular gas tracers, Hi-GAL will allow to address fundamental issues:


  • What's the contribution of cold material to the overall mass budget of the Galaxy ? 
  • What's the ISM temperature and the intensity of the Interstellar Radiation field throughout the Galaxy ? 
  • What's the star formation efficiency as a function of Galactocentric radius and environmental conditions ? 
  • What's the relationship between the local properties of star formation and the global integrated scaling laws derived for external galaxies? What's the timeline for the formation of massive stars ? 
  • What are the variations in the gas-to-dust ratio, and what factors govern these variations ?


Hi-GAL will allow significant advances in all these issues, enabling decisive steps toward the formulation of a global predictive model of the ISM/star formation cyclic transformation process which is the engine responsible for most of the energy budget in normal star-forming galaxies. It will be a cornerstone to unveil the evolution of galaxies through redshift back to their formation.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 June 2008 20:13
J.A.T. template series was designed 2006 by 4bp.de: www.4bp.de, www.oltrogge.ws