Discovery of a molecular collision front in interacting galaxies NGC 4567/4568 with ALMA.
KANEKO H., KUNO N. and SAITOH T.R.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present results of 12CO(J = 1-0) imaging observations of NGC 4567/4568, a galaxy pair in a close encounter, with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA). For the first time, we find clear evidence of a molecular collision front with a velocity dispersion that is 16.8 ± 1.4 km s–1 at the overlapping region, owing to high spatial and velocity resolution. By integrating over the velocity width that corresponds to the molecular collision front, we find a long filamentary structure with a size of 1800 pc x 350 pc at the collision front. This filamentary molecular structure spatially coincides with a dark lane seen in the R-band image. We find four molecular clouds in the filament, each with a radius of 30 pc and mass of 106 M☉; the radii matching a typical value for giant molecular clouds (GMCs) and the masses corresponding to those between GMCs and giant molecular associations (GMAs). All four clouds are gravitationally bound. The molecular filamentary structure and its physical conditions are similar to the structure expected via numerical simulation. The filament could be a progenitor of super star clusters.