SIMBAD references

2005ApJ...632..882O - Astrophys. J., 632, 882-893 (2005/October-3)

Hot and diffuse clouds near the Galactic Center probed by metastable H+3.


Abstract (from CDS):

Using an absorption line from the metastable (J, K)=(3, 3) level of H+3together with other lines of H+3and CO observed along several sight lines, we have discovered a vast amount of high-temperature (T∼250 K) and low-density (n∼100/cm3) gas with a large velocity dispersion in the central molecular zone (CMZ) of the Galaxy, i.e., within 200 pc of the center. Approximately three-fourths of the H+3along the line of sight to the brightest source we observed, the Quintuplet object GCS 3-2, is inferred to be in the CMZ, with the remaining H+3located in intervening spiral arms. About half of the H+3in the CMZ has velocities near ~-100 km/s, indicating that it is associated with the 180 pc radius expanding molecular ring, which approximately forms the outer boundary of the CMZ. The other half, with velocities of ~-50 and ∼0 km/s, is probably closer to the center. CO is not very abundant in these clouds. Hot and diffuse gas in which the (3, 3) level is populated was not detected toward several dense clouds and diffuse clouds in the Galactic disk where large column densities of colder H+3 have been reported previously. Thus, the newly discovered environment appears to be unique to the CMZ. The large observed H+3column densities in the CMZ suggest an ionization rate much higher than in the diffuse interstellar medium in the Galactic disk. Our finding that the H+3in the CMZ is almost entirely in diffuse clouds indicates that the reported volume filling factor (f≥0.1) for n≥104/cm3 clouds in the CMZ is an overestimate by at least an order of magnitude.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Astrochemistry - Galaxy: Center - ISM: Clouds - ISM: Molecules - Molecular Processes - Radiation Mechanisms: Nonthermal

Simbad objects: 29

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