Beyond The Peak

About the Project

Beyond the Peak is a spatially-resolved far-infrared spectroscopic survey of a sample of 23 nuclear and extranuclear regions within 22 nearby galaxies. The sample was selected in order to represent the broadest range of key physical properties, including luminosity, gas and stellar mass, star-formation density and infrared activity and draws from the heritage of the SINGS and KINGFISH projects and related surveys.

The FIR spectroscopy obtained using the SPIRE/FTS instrument aboard the Herschel Space Telescope covers 12CO lines from Jup=4 to 13 (as seen in the spatially resolved CO line spectral line emission diagnostics in the image below). [NII] 205μm and [CI] 370, 609μm are also within the wavelength range and frequently detected within the BTP sample.

With this new data, the BTP project is quantifying the excitation conditions of CO over a wide range of environments and characterizing the physical properties of warm and dense gas within galaxies on kiloparsec scales. The project is also investigating the connection between warm molecular gas and star-formation laws as well as the connection with the abundant warm H2 evidenced in Spitzer/IRS maps.