Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 373, 827-835 (2001/7-3)
Gas cooling within the diffuse ISM of late-type galaxies.
PIERINI D., LEQUEUX J., BOSELLI A., LEECH K.J. and VOELK H.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We combine observations of spiral galaxies in the [CII] line at 158 µm, made with the Long Wavelength Spectrometer aboard ISO, with previous data from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory to study the origin of this line, which is the main coolant of the interstellar medium at relatively low temperatures. We also use HI and CO(1-0) observations of these galaxies and estimate the respective line fluxes in the same beam as the [CII] observations. We confirm the existence of a linear relation between the [CII] line intensity and the CO(1-0) line intensity, that we extend to intrinsically fainter galaxies. The dispersion around this relation is significant and due to variations in the far-UV flux, thus in the star formation rate. We find that for the least active galaxies of our sample, in terms of star formation, the rate of [CII] line emission per interstellar hydrogen atom is similar to that in the Solar neighbourhood. For those galaxies, most of the [CII] line emission comes probably from the diffuse cold atomic medium. In more active galaxies, considered globally, the average [CII] line emission is dominated by dense photodissociation regions and to some extent by the warm ionized diffuse medium. This is true in the central regions of many spiral galaxies, and probably even in the interarm regions of the most actively star-forming ones.
infrared: ISM: lines and bands - infrared: galaxies - galaxies: spiral - galaxies: ISM - ISM: molecules