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Recipes to Regulate Star Formation at All Scales: From the Nearby Universe to the First Galaxies


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Mon 15 Apr 2024
Fri 19 Apr 2024


Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218

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Have questions? Please contact STScI.
Recipes to Regulate Star Formation at All Scales: From the Nearby Universe to the First Galaxies


Star formation is a fundamental process defining galaxies, impacting virtually every facet of astronomy. However, precise mechanisms governing star formation activity, including but not limited to stellar and AGN feedback, and its evolution with redshift remain a subject of intense debate. With recent observations from cutting-edge (ground-based and space telescopes) observatories (e.g., JWST, HST, ALMA, VLT, Keck) unprecedented data have become available to study star formation at all redshifts. While state-of-the-art simulations are aiding us in the construction of increasingly more realistic models of galaxy formation and evolution to predict and interpret these observables, high redshift observations cannot provide the level of cloud-scale physical detail that the nearby galaxies have to offer. The 2024 STScl Spring Symposium aims to gather the low, intermediate and high-redshift communities to discuss the factors that affect star formation in galaxies, from parsec to kiloparsec and megaparsec scales. We will highlight new observational, theoretical and computational results from the nearby Universe to Cosmic Noon (z~2-3) and up to the first galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (z>6) on the following four core topics: 

1. Conditions for star formation in galaxies and the role of stellar feedback;

2. The relationship between star formation and chemical evolution;

3. The CGM and IGM role in shaping star formation activity in galaxies.

4. The role of AGN feedback in regulating star formation;

The synergy between new observations of nearby systems and theoretical studies will shed light on the interpretation of the results from more distant galaxies. Furthermore, the results from distant galaxies will in turn give us insights on the best way to identify local analogs to better understand the star formation processes in earlier times. This will also prepare the field for forthcoming observatories (e.g., Euclid, Vera Rubin Observatory, Roman, ELTs, SKA). This Symposium aims to enhance our understanding of the drivers of galaxy evolution, a key topic highlighted amongst the Astro 2020 priority areas. Here, we list the open questions we will explore and discuss:

Conditions for star formation in galaxies and the role of stellar feedback 

  • What are the best star formation rate indicators at different physical scales and epochs? How does the presence of dust affect them across cosmic time?
  • What drives the star formation activity in galaxies, from cloud-scales to galactic scales?
  • How does stellar feedback affect the gas supply for star formation in galaxies across cosmic time?

The relationship between star formation and chemical evolution 

  • What are the most effective ways to trace both stellar and gas-phase metallicities at different epochs? 
  • How does star formation enrich the galaxy with metals from the early to the nearby Universe?
  • What is the interplay between metal distribution and star-formation, and does it change across cosmic time?

The CGM and IGM role in shaping star formation activity in galaxies

  • How can kiloparsec or megaparsec-scale variations in the environment affect star-formation on micro-scales?
  • What can we learn about the baryon cycle in galaxies (SF-AGN interplay, inflows & outflows, metal dilution/enrichment) via observations of the CGM and IGM at different epochs?

The role of AGN feedback in regulating star formation

  • How do we detect AGN at different epochs? 
  • What is the impact of AGN feedback on star formation across cosmic time? 
  • How do the Black hole-galaxy scaling relations (MBH-σ, MBH-M*) vary with redshift? 


The 2024 Spring Symposium will be held on April 15-19, 2024 as an in-person event with the possibility of virtual participation at the Space Telescope Science Institute (Muller Building, Bahcall Auditorium) in Baltimore, MD, USA. Website and abstract submission and registration deadlines will be announced soon. For more information, contact the organizing committee.

Important Dates

December 4 Abstract Submission Opens
January 19 Abstract Submission Deadline
January 19 Registration Opens
March 15 Registration Deadline
April 15 Spring Symposium Begins at the Colonnade Hotel (12:00pm - 6:30pm)
April 16 Spring Symposium Resumes at STScI
April 19 Spring Symposium Ends (4:30pm)

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