Hokkaido University and University of Tsukuba joint appointment
To understand star formation in galaxies, we need to understand the evolution of the gas from which the stars are born. However, due to technical restrictions on the observation of molecular spectral lines at millimeter wavelengths, observations of the resolved structure of molecular gas in galaxies have been limited. Using the NAOJ 45 m Nobeyama Radio telescope we have begun the "CO Multi-line Imaging of Nearby Galaxies" (COMING) project which aims to observe about 150 galaxies. We developed a new data analysis methods and have begun publishing the first results. They include the discovery that the density of molecular gas in barred spiral galaxies, and therefore the star-formation, is strongly affected by gas motions.