The EDGE-CALIFA Survey: Molecular Gas and Star Formation Activity across the Green Valley

Vicente Villanueva, Alberto D. Bolatto, Stuart N. Vogel, Tony Wong, Adam K. Leroy, Sebastian F. Sánchez, Rebecca C. Levy, Erik Rosolowsky, Dario Colombo, Veselina Kalinova, Serena Cronin, Peter Teuben, Mónica Rubio, Zein Bazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a 12CO(J = 2−1) survey of 60 local galaxies using data from the Atacama Compact Array as part of the Extragalactic Database for Galaxy Evolution: the ACA EDGE survey. These galaxies all have integral field spectroscopy from the CALIFA survey. Compared to other local galaxy surveys, ACA EDGE is designed to mitigate selection effects based on CO brightness and morphological type. Of the 60 galaxies in ACA EDGE, 36 are on the star formation main sequence, 13 are on the red sequence, and 11 lie in the “green valley” transition between these sequences. We test how star formation quenching processes affect the star formation rate (SFR) per unit molecular gas mass, SFEmol = SFR/M mol, and related quantities in galaxies with stellar masses 10 ≤ log[M /M ] ≤ 11.5 covering the full range of morphological types. We observe a systematic decrease of the molecular-to-stellar mass fraction ( R ⋆ mol ) with a decreasing level of star formation activity, with green valley galaxies also having lower SFEmol than galaxies on the main sequence. On average, we find that the spatially resolved SFEmol within the bulge region of green valley galaxies is lower than in the bulges of main-sequence galaxies if we adopt a constant CO-to-H2 conversion factor, α CO. While efficiencies in main-sequence galaxies remain almost constant with galactocentric radius, in green valley galaxies, we note a systematic increase of SFEmol, R ⋆ mol , and specific SFR with increasing radius. As shown in previous studies, our results suggest that although gas depletion (or removal) seems to be the most important driver of the star formation quenching in galaxies transiting through the green valley, a reduction in star formation efficiency is also required during this stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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