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Castel Guelfo di Bologna, Italy

Lindberg J.E.,Chalmers University of Technology | Lindberg J.E.,NASA | Aalto S.,Chalmers University of Technology | Muller S.,Chalmers University of Technology | And 9 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2016

Our goal is to study the chemical composition of the outflows of active galactic nuclei and starburst galaxies. Methods. We obtained high-resolution interferometric observations of HCN and HCO+J = 1 → 0 and J = 2 → 1 of the ultra-luminous infrared galaxy Mrk 231 with the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer. We also use previously published observations of HCN and HCO+J = 1 → 0 and J = 3 → 2, and HNC J = 1 → 0 in the same source. Results. In the line wings of the HCN, HCO+, and HNC emission, we find that these three molecular species exhibit features at distinct velocities which differ between the species. The features are not consistent with emission lines of other molecular species. Through radiative transfer modelling of the HCN and HCO+ outflow emission we find an average abundance ratio X(HCN)/X(HCO+) ≳ 1000. Assuming a clumpy outflow, modelling of the HCN and HCO+ emission produces strongly inconsistent outflow masses. Conclusions. Both the anti-correlated outflow features of HCN and HCO+ and the different outflow masses calculated from the radiative transfer models of the HCN and HCO+ emission suggest that the outflow is chemically differentiated. The separation between HCN and HCO+ could be an indicator of shock fronts present in the outflow, since the HCN/HCO+ ratio is expected to be elevated in shocked regions. Our result shows that studies of the chemistry in large-scale galactic outflows can be used to better understand the physical properties of these outflows and their effects on the interstellar medium in the galaxy. © 2016 ESO. Source


Martin S.,European Southern Observatory | Martin S.,Institut Universitaire de France | Aalto S.,Chalmers University of Technology | Sakamoto K.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | And 15 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2016

Context. The origin of the enormous luminosities of the two opaque nuclei of Arp 220, the prototypical ultra-luminous infrared galaxy, remains a mystery because we lack observational tools to explore the innermost regions around the nuclei. Aims. We explore the potential of imaging vibrationally excited molecular emission at high angular resolution to better understand the morphology and physical structure of the dense gas in Arp 220 and to gain insight into the nature of the nuclear powering sources. Methods. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) provided simultaneous observations of HCN, HCO+, and vibrationally excited HCN v2 = 1f emission. Their J = 4-3 and 3-2 transitions were observed at a matching resolution of ~0.5′′, which allows us to isolate the emission from the two nuclei. Results. The HCN and HCO+ lines within the ground-vibrational state poorly describe the central ~100 pc region around the nuclei because there are strong effects of cool absorbing gas in the foreground and severe line blending that is due to the prolific molecular emission of Arp 220. Vibrationally excited emission of HCN is detected in both nuclei with a very high ratio relative to the total LFIR, higher than in any other observed galaxy and well above what is observed in Galactic hot cores. HCN v2 = 1f is observed to be marginally resolved in ~60 × 50 pc regions inside the dusty ~100 pc sized nuclear cores. Its emission is centered on our derived individual nuclear velocities based on HCO+ emission (VWN = 5342 ± 4 and VEN = 5454 ± 8 km s-1, for the western and eastern nucleus, respectively). With virial masses within r ~ 25-30 pc based on the HCN v2 = 1f line widths, we estimate gas surface densities (gas fraction fg = 0.1) of 3 ± 0.3 × 104 M⊙ pc-2 (WN) and 1.1 ± 0.1 × 104 M⊙ pc-2 (EN). The 4-3/3-2 flux density ratio could be consistent with optically thick emission, which would further constrain the size of the emitting region to >15 pc (EN) and >22 pc (WN). The absorption systems that may hide up to 70% of the HCN and HCO+ emission are found at velocities of-50 km s-1 (EN) and 6,-140, and-575 km s-1 (WN) relative to velocities of the nuclei. Blueshifted absorptions are the evidence of outflowing motions from both nuclei. Conclusions. Although vibrationally excited molecular transitions could also be affected by opacity, they may be our best tool to peer into the central few tens of parsecs around compact obscured nuclei like those of Arp 220. The bright vibrational emission implies the existence of a hot dust region radiatively pumping these transitions. We find evidence of a strong temperature gradient that would be responsible for both the HCN v2 pumping and the absorbed profiles from the vibrational ground state as a result of both continuum and self-absorption by cooler foreground gas. © 2016 ESO. Source


Giannetti A.,National institute for astrophysics | Giannetti A.,University of Bologna | Wyrowski F.,Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | Brand J.,National institute for astrophysics | And 10 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

Context. In the low-mass regime, molecular cores have spatially resolved temperature and density profiles allowing a detailed study of their chemical properties. It is found that the gas-phase abundances of C-bearing molecules in cold starless cores rapidly decrease with increasing density. Here the molecules tend to stick to the grains, forming ice mantles. Aims. We study CO depletion in a large sample of massive clumps, and investigate its correlation with evolutionary stage and with the physical parameters of the sources. Moreover, we study the gradients in [12C]/[13C] and [18O]/[17O] isotopic ratios across the inner Galaxy, and the virial stability of the clumps. Methods. From the ATLASGAL 870 μm survey we selected 102 clumps, which have masses in the range ~ 102-3 × 104M⊙, sampling different evolutionary stages. We use low-J emission lines of CO isotopologues and the dust continuum emission to infer the depletion factor fD. RATRAN one-dimensional models were also used to determine fD and to investigate the presence of depletion above a density threshold. The isotopic ratios and optical depth were derived with a Bayesian approach. Results. We find a significant number of clumps with a high degree of CO depletion, up to ~ 20. Larger values are found for colder clumps, thus for earlier evolutionary phases. For massive clumps in the earliest stages of evolution we estimate the radius of the region where CO depletion is important to be a few tenths of a pc. The value of the [12C]/[13C] ratio is found to increase with distance from the Galactic centre, with a value of ~ 66 ± 12 for the solar neighbourhood. The [18O]/[17O] ratio is approximately constant (~ 4) across the inner Galaxy between 2 kpc and 8 kpc, albeit with a large range (~ 2-6). Clumps are found with total masses derived from dust continuum emission up to ~ 20 times higher than Mvir, especially among the less evolved sources. These large values may in part be explained by the presence of depletion: if the CO emission comes mainly from the low-density outer layers, the molecules may be subthermally excited, leading to an overestimate of the dust masses. Conclusions. CO depletion in high-mass clumps seems to behave as in the low-mass regime, with less evolved clumps showing larger values for the depletion than their more evolved counterparts, and increasing for denser sources. The ratios [12C]/[13C] and [18O]/[17O] are consistent with previous determinations, and show a large intrinsic scatter. © 2014 ESO. Source


Giannetti A.,Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | Wyrowski F.,Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy | Brand J.,Italian Regional Center | Brand J.,National institute for astrophysics | And 8 more authors.
EAS Publications Series | Year: 2016

In the low-mass regime, it is found that the gas-phase abundances of C-bearing molecules in cold starless cores rapidly decrease with increasing density. Here the molecules tend to stick to the grains, forming ice mantles. We study CO depletion in the TOP100 sample of the ATLASGAL survey, and investigate its correlation with evolutionary stage and with the physical parameters of the sources. We use low-J emission lines of CO isotopologues and the dust continuum emission to infer the depletion factor fD. RATRAN one-dimensional models were also used to determine fD and to investigate the presence of depletion above a density threshold. The isotopic ratios and optical depth were derived with a Bayesian approach. We find a significant number of clumps with a large CO depletion, up to ∼20. Larger values are found for colder clumps, thus for earlier evolutionary phases. For massive clumps in the earliest stages of evolution we estimate the radius of the region where CO depletion is important to be a few tenths of a pc. CO depletion in high-mass clumps seems to behave as in the low-mass regime, with less evolved clumps showing larger values for the depletion than their more evolved counterparts, and increasing for denser sources. © 2016 EAS, EDP Sciences. Source


Giannetti A.,National institute for astrophysics | Giannetti A.,University of Bologna | Brand J.,National institute for astrophysics | Brand J.,Italian Regional Center | And 7 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. The details of the process of massive star formation are still elusive. A complete characterization of the first stages of the process from an observational point of view is needed to constrain theories on the subject. In the past 20 years we have made a thorough investigation of colour-selected IRAS sources over the whole sky. The sources in the northern hemisphere were studied in detail and used to derive an evolutionary sequence based on their spectral energy distribution. Aims. To investigate the first stages of the process of high-mass star formation, we selected a sample of massive clumps previously observed with the Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope at 1.2 mm and with the ATNF Australia Telescope Compact Array at 1.3 cm. We want to characterize the physical conditions in such sources, and test whether their properties depend on the evolutionary stage of the clump. Methods. With ATCA we observed the selected sources in the NH3(1, 1) and (2, 2) transitions and in the H2O(616-523) maser line. Ammonia lines are a very good temperature probe that allow us to accurately determine the mass and the column, volume, and surface densities of the clumps. We also collected all data available to construct the spectral energy distribution of the individual clumps and to determine if star formation is already occurring through observations of its most common signposts, thus putting constraints on the evolutionary stage of the source. We fitted the spectral energy distribution between 1.2 mm and 70 μm with a modified black body to derive the dust temperature and independently determine the mass. Results. We find that the clumps are cold (T ∼ 10-30 K), massive (M ∼ 102-10 3 M2), and dense (n(H2) 105 cm -3) and that they have high column densities (N(H2) ∼ 1023 cm-2). All clumps appear to be potentially able to form high-mass stars. The most massive clumps appear to be gravitationally unstable, if the only sources of support against collapse are turbulence and thermal pressure, which possibly indicates that the magnetic field is important in stabilizing them. Conclusions. After investigating how the average properties depend on the evolutionary phase of the source, we find that the temperature and central density progressively increase with time. Sources likely hosting a ZAMS star show a steeper radial dependence of the volume density and tend to be more compact than starless clumps. © ESO, 2013. Source

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