Astrophys. J., 745, 65 (2012/January-3)
Unveiling the physical properties and kinematics of molecular gas in the Antennae galaxies (NGC 4038/9) through high-resolution CO (J = 3-2) observations.
UEDA J., IONO D., PETITPAS G., YUN M.S., HO P.T.P., KAWABE R., MAO R.-Q., MARTIN S., MATSUSHITA S., PECK A.B., TAMURA Y., WANG J., WANG Z., WILSON C.D. and ZHANG Q.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a ∼1'' (100 pc) resolution 12CO (3-2) map of the nearby intermediate-stage interacting galaxy pair NGC 4038/9 (the Antennae galaxies) obtained with the Submillimeter Array. We find that half the CO (3-2) emission originates in the overlap region where most of the tidally induced star formation had been previously found in shorter wavelength images, with the rest being centered on each of the nuclei. The gross distribution is consistent with lower resolution single-dish images, but we show for the first time the detailed distribution of the warm and dense molecular gas across this galaxy pair at resolutions comparable to the size of a typical giant molecular complex. While we find that 58% (33/57) of the spatially resolved Giant Molecular Associations (a fewx100 pc) are located in the overlap region, only ≤ 30% spatially coincides with the optically detected star clusters, suggesting that the bulk of the CO (3-2) emission traces the regions with very recent or near future star formation activity. The spatial distribution of the CO (3-2)/CO (1-0) integrated brightness temperature ratios mainly ranges between 0.3 and 0.6, which suggests that on average the CO (3-2) line in the Antennae is not completely thermalized and similar to the average values of nearby spirals. A higher ratio is seen in both nuclei and the southern complexes in the overlap region. A higher radiation field associated with intense star formation can account for the nucleus of NGC 4038 and the overlap region, but the nuclear region of NGC 4039 shows relatively little star formation or active galactic nucleus activity and cannot be easily explained. We show kinematical evidence that the high line ratio in NGC 4039 is possibly caused by gas inflow into the counter-rotating central disk.
galaxies: individual (NGC 4038, NGC 4039) - galaxies: interactions - galaxies: ISM - radio lines: galaxies
Table 4: [UIP2012] NN N=57.
View the references in ADS
To bookmark this query, right click on this link: simbad:2012ApJ...745...65U and select 'bookmark this link' or equivalent in the popup menu