Astrophys. J., 542, 120-127 (2000/October-2)
High-resolution imaging of molecular gas and dust in the Antennae (NGC 4038/39): super giant molecular complexes.
WILSON C.D., SCOVILLE N., MADDEN S.C. and CHARMANDARIS V.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present new aperture synthesis CO maps of the Antennae (NGC 4038/39) obtained with the Caltech Millimeter Array. These sensitive images show molecular emission associated with the two nuclei and a partial ring of star formation to the west of NGC 4038, as well as revealing the large extent of the extranuclear region of star formation (the ``overlap region''), which dominates the CO emission from this system. The largest molecular complexes have masses of 3-6x108 M☉, typically an order of magnitude larger than the largest structures seen to date in more quiescent galaxy disks. The extremely red luminous star clusters identified previously with the Hubble Space Telescope are well correlated with the CO emission, which supports the conclusion that they are highly embedded young objects rather than old globular clusters. There is an excellent correlation between the CO emission and the 15 µm emission seen with the Infrared Space Observatory, particularly for the brightest regions. The most massive complexes in the overlap region have similar [Ne III]/[Ne II] ratios, which implies that all these regions are forming many massive stars. However, only the brightest mid-infrared peak shows strong, rising continuum emission longward of 10 µm, indicative of very small dust grains heated to high temperatures by their proximity to nearby luminous stars. Since these grains are expected to be removed rapidly from the immediate environment of the massive stars, it is possible that this region contains very young (<1 Myr) sites of star formation. Alternatively, fresh dust grains could be driven into the sphere of influence of the massive stars, perhaps by the bulk motions of two giant molecular complexes. The kinematics and morphology of the CO emission in this region provide some support for this second scenario.
galaxies: individual (NGC 4038/9) - Galaxies: ISM - ISM: Molecules - Radio Lines: Galaxies
Fig.1, Table 1: [WSM2000] SGMC N (Nos 1-5).
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