Query : 2009A&A...495..795H

2009A&A...495..795H - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 495, 795-806 (2009/3-1)

A complete 12CO 2-1 map of M51 with HERA. II. Total gas surface densities and gravitational stability.


Abstract (from CDS):

To date the onset of large-scale star formation in galaxies and its link to gravitational stability of the galactic disk have not been fully understood. The nearby face-on spiral galaxy M51 is an ideal target for studying this subject. This paper combines CO, dust, HI, and stellar maps of M51 and its companion galaxy to study the H2/HI transition, the gas-to-dust ratios, and the stability of the disk against gravitational collapse. We combine maps of the molecular gas using 12CO 2-1 map HERA/IRAM-30m data and HI VLA data to study the total gas surface density and the phase transition of atomic to molecular gas. The total gas surface density is compared to the dust surface density from 850µm SCUBA data. Taking into account the velocity dispersions of the molecular and atomic gas, and the stellar surface densities derived from the 2MASS K-band survey, we derive the total Toomre Q parameter of the disk. The gas surface density Σgas in the spiral arms is ∼2-3 higher compared to that of the interarm regions. The ratio of molecular to atomic surface density shows a nearly power-law dependence on the hydrostatic pressure Phydro. The Σgas distribution in M51 shows an underlying exponential distribution with a scale length of hgas=7.6kpc representing 55% of the total gas mass, comparable to the properties of the exponential dust disk. In contrast to the velocity widths observed in HI, the CO velocity dispersion shows enhanced line widths in the spiral arms compared to the interarm regions. The contribution of the stellar component in the Toomre Q-parameter analysis is significant and lowers the combined Q-parameter Qtot by up to 70% towards the threshold for gravitational instability. The value of Qtot varies from 1.5-3 in radial averages. A map of Qtot shows values around 1 on the spiral arms indicating self-regulation at play.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): ISM: kinematics and dynamics - galaxies: ISM - galaxies: kinematics and dynamics - galaxies: spiral

Simbad objects: 4

goto Full paper

goto View the references in ADS

Number of rows : 4
N Identifier Otype ICRS (J2000)
ICRS (J2000)
Mag U Mag B Mag V Mag R Mag I Sp type #ref
1850 - 2023
1 NAME LMC G 05 23 34.6 -69 45 22     0.4     ~ 16984 1
2 M 51 GiP 13 29 52.698 +47 11 42.93   9.26 8.36 8.40   ~ 4247 4
3 NGC 5195 GiP 13 29 59.590 +47 15 58.06 10.76 10.45 9.55 9.31   ~ 763 3
4 M 83 SBG 13 37 00.91920 -29 51 56.7400 8.85 8.11 7.52 7.21   ~ 2518 2

To bookmark this query, right click on this link: simbad:objects in 2009A&A...495..795H and select 'bookmark this link' or equivalent in the popup menu


© Université de Strasbourg/CNRS

    • Contact