The Herschel Reference Survey: Gas, Dust, Star formation and Metals in the local Universe -- Luca Cortese Joint CASS/AAO Colloquium
Multi-wavelength surveys are finally providing a census of all the baryonic components of galaxies (gas, stars, metals, dust, etc.), making it possible to start building a coherent picture of the star formation cycle in galaxies.
In this talk, I will introduce one of such endeavors, the Herschel Reference Survey (HRS), a Herschel/SPIRE Guaranteed time program focused on the study of the star formation cycle in a volume-, magnitude-limited sample of nearby galaxies in different environments. I will give an
overview of some of the key results from the HRS, obtained by combining the Herschel observations with a multiwavelength dataset covering the ultraviolet to the radio regime. Particular attention will be given to the characterization of the statistical properties of cold gas, dust and metals in nearby galaxies and to the effect of the environment on the various steps of the star formation cycle. The HRS will be an important benchmark for studies of
high redshift galaxies, as well as a useful reference for theoretical studies.