CO Multi-line Imaging of Nearby Galaxies (COMING): I. Physical properties of molecular gas in the barred spiral galaxy NGC 2903

28 Jul 2016  ·  Muraoka Kazuyuki, Sorai Kazuo, Kuno Nario, Nakai Naomasa, Nakanishi Hiroyuki, Takeda Miho, Yanagitani Kazuki, Kaneko Hiroyuki, Miyamoto Yusuke, Kishida Nozomi, Hatakeyama Takuya, Umei Michiko, Tanaka Takahiro, Tomiyasu Yuto, Saita Chey, Ueno Saeko, Matsumoto Naoko, Salak Dragan, Morokuma-Matsui Kana ·

We present simultaneous mappings of J=1-0 emission of 12CO, 13CO, and C18O molecules toward the whole disk (8' x 5' or 20.8 kpc x 13.0 kpc) of the nearby barred spiral galaxy NGC 2903 with the Nobeyama Radio Observatory 45-m telescope at an effective angular resolution of 20" (or 870 pc). We detected 12CO(J=1-0) emission over the disk of NGC 2903... In addition, significant 13CO(J=1-0) emission was found at the center and bar-ends, whereas we could not detect any significant C18O(J=1-0) emission. In order to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of CO emission and to obtain accurate line ratios of 12CO(J=2-1)/12CO(J=1-0) ($R_{2-1/1-0}$) and 13CO(J=1-0)/12CO(J=1-0) ($R_{13/12}$), we performed the stacking analysis for our 12CO(J=1-0), 13CO(J=1-0), and archival 12CO(J=2-1) spectra with velocity-axis alignment in nine representative regions of NGC 2903. We successfully obtained the stacked spectra of the three CO lines, and could measure averaged $R_{2-1/1-0}$ and $R_{13/12}$ with high significance for all the regions. We found that both $R_{2-1/1-0}$ and $R_{13/12}$ differ according to the regions, which reflects the difference in the physical properties of molecular gas; i.e., density ($n_{\rm H_2}$) and kinetic temperature ($T_K$). We determined $n_{\rm H_2}$ and $T_K$ using $R_{2-1/1-0}$ and $R_{13/12}$ based on the large velocity gradient approximation. The derived $n_{\rm H_2}$ ranges from ~ 1000 cm$^{-3}$ (in the bar, bar-ends, and spiral arms) to 3700 cm$^{-3}$ (at the center) and the derived $T_K$ ranges from 10 K (in the bar and spiral arms) to 30 K (at the center). We examined the dependence of star formation efficiencies (SFEs) on $n_{\rm H_2}$ and $T_K$, and found the positive correlation between SFE and $n_{\rm H_2}$ with the correlation coefficient for the least-square power-law fit $R^2$ of 0.50. This suggests that molecular gas density governs the spatial variations in SFEs. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies