Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 659A, 36-36 (2022/3-1)
Self-absorption in [C II], 12CO, and H I in RCW120. Building up a geometrical and physical model of the region,.
KABANOVIC S., SCHNEIDER N., OSSENKOPF-OKADA V., FALASCA F., GUSTEN R., STUTZKI J., SIMON R., BUCHBENDER C., ANDERSON L., BONNE L., GUEVARA C., HIGGINS R., KORIBALSKI B., LUISI M., MERTENS M., OKADA Y., ROLLIG M., SEIFRIED D., TIWARI M., WYROWSKI F., ZAVAGNO A. and TIELENS A.G.G.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
Aims. Revealing the 3D dynamics of HII region bubbles and their associated molecular clouds and HI envelopes is important for developing an understanding of the longstanding problem as to how stellar feedback affects the density structure and kinematics of the different phases of the interstellar medium. Methods. We employed observations of the HII region RCW 120 in the [CII] 158 µm line, observed within the Stratospheric Observatory forInfrared Astronomy (SOFIA) legacy program FEEDBACK, and in the 12CO and 13CO (3 -2) lines, obtained with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) to derive the physical properties of the gas in the photodissociation region (PDR) and in the molecular cloud. We used high angular resolution HI data from the Southern Galactic Plane Survey to quantify the physical properties of the cold atomic gas through HI self-absorption. The high spectral resolution of the heterodyne observations turns out to be essential in order to analyze the physical conditions, geometry, and overall structure of the sources. Two types of radiative transfer models were used to fit the observed [CII] and CO spectra. A line profile analysis with the 1D non-LTE radiative transfer code SimLine proves that the CO emission cannot stem from a spherically symmetric molecular cloud configuration. With a two-layer multicomponent model, we then quantified the amount of warm background and cold foreground gas. To fully exploit the spectral-spatial information in the CO spectra, a Gaussian mixture model was introduced that allows for grouping spectra into clusters with similar properties. Results. The CO emission arises mostly from a limb-brightened, warm molecular ring, or more specifically a torus when extrapolated in 3D. There is a deficit of CO emission along the line-of-sight toward the center of the HII region which indicates that the HII region is associated with a flattened molecular cloud. Self-absorption in the CO line may hide signatures of infalling and expanding molecular gas. The [CII] emission arises from an expanding [CII] bubble and from the PDRs in the ring/torus. A significant part of [CII] emission is absorbed in a cool (∼60-100 K), low-density (<500 cm–3) atomic foreground layer with a thickness of a few parsec. Conclusions. We propose that the RCW 120 HII region formed in a flattened, filamentary, or sheet-like, molecular cloud and is now bursting out of its parental cloud. The compressed surrounding molecular layer formed a torus around the spherically expanding HII bubble. This scenario can possibly be generalized for other HII bubbles and would explain the observed "flat" structure of molecular clouds associated with HII bubbles. We suggest that the [CII] absorption observed in many star-forming regions is at least partly caused by low-density, cool, HI -envelopes surrounding the molecular clouds.