VERTICO: The virgo environment traced in CO survey

Toby Brown, Christine D. Wilson, Nikki Zabel, Timothy A. Davis, Alessandro Boselli, Aeree Chung, Sara L. Ellison, Claudia D.P. Lagos, Adam R.H. Stevens, Luca Cortese, Yannick M. Bahé, Dhruv Bisaria, Alberto D. Bolatto, Claire R. Cashmore, Barbara Catinella, Ryan Chown, Benedikt Diemer, Pascal J. Elahi, Maan H. Hani, María J. Jiménez-DonaireBumhyun Lee, Katya Leidig, Angus Mok, Karen Pardos Olsen, Laura C. Parker, Ian D. Roberts, Rory Smith, Kristine Spekkens, Mallory Thorp, Stephanie Tonnesen, Evan Vienneau, Vicente Villanueva, Stuart N. Vogel, James Wadsley, Charlotte Welker, Hyein Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We present the Virgo Environment Traced in CO (VERTICO) survey, a new effort to map 12CO (2-1), 13CO (2-1), and C18O (2-1) in 51 Virgo Cluster galaxies with the Atacama Compact Array, part of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. The primary motivation of VERTICO is to understand the physical mechanisms that perturb molecular gas disks, and therefore star formation and galaxy evolution, in dense environments. This first paper contains an overview of VERTICO's design and sample selection, 12CO (2-1) observations, and data reduction procedures. We characterize global 12CO (2-1) fluxes and molecular gas masses for the 49 detected VERTICO galaxies, provide upper limits for the two nondetections, and produce resolved 12CO (2-1) data products (median resolution = 8″ ≈ 640 pc). Azimuthally averaged 12CO (2-1) radial intensity profiles are presented along with derived molecular gas radii. We demonstrate the scientific power of VERTICO by comparing the molecular gas size-mass scaling relation for our galaxies with a control sample of field galaxies, highlighting the strong effect that radius definition has on this correlation. We discuss the drivers of the form and scatter in the size-mass relation and highlight areas for future work. VERTICO is an ideal resource for studying the fate of molecular gas in cluster galaxies and the physics of environment-driven processes that perturb the star formation cycle. Upon public release, the survey will provide a homogeneous legacy data set for studying galaxy evolution in our closest cluster.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
T.B. acknowledges support from the National Research Council of Canada via the Plaskett Fellowship of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. C.D.W. acknowledges support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canada Research Chairs program. T.A.D. acknowledges support from STFC grant ST/S00033X/1. L.P., J.W., and K.S. acknowledge support from the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada. L.C. acknowledges support from the Australian Research Council's Discovery Project and Future Fellowship funding schemes (DP210100337, FT180100066). A.R.H.S. acknowledges receipt of the Jim Buckee Fellowship at ICRAR-UWA. I.D.R. acknowledges support from the ERC Starting Grant Cluster Web 804208. K. P.O. is funded by NASA under award No. 80NSSC19K1651. V. V. acknowledges support from the scholarship CONICYT PFCHA/CONICYT-FULBRIGHT BIO 2016-56160020 and funding from NRAO Student Observing Support (SOS)-SOSPA7-014. Support for this work was also provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant No. 2018R1D1A1B07048314. B.L. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation of China (12073002, 11721303). Y.M.B. gratefully acknowledges funding from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) through Veni grant No. 639.041.751. C.W. acknowledges the support of the National Science Foundation award 1815251 (United States) held by Dr. Susan Kassin. Parts of this research were conducted by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D), through project No. CE170100013. M.H.H. acknowledges support from the William and Caroline Herschel Postdoctoral Fellowship fund. C.D.P.L. has received funding from ASTRO 3D through project No. CE170100013. P.J.E. works on Whadjuk country and pays respect to the elders past, present, and emerging of the Noongar people. C.R.C. acknowledges support from STFC grant ST/R000840/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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