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2003ApJ...594..758L - Astrophys. J., 594, 758-775 (2003/September-2)

The [C II] 158 micron line deficit in ultraluminous infrared galaxies revisited.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present a study of the [C II] 157.74 µm fine-structure line in a sample of 15 ultraluminous infrared (IR) galaxies (IR luminosity LIR{ges}1012L; ULIRGs) using the Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS) on the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). We confirm the observed order of magnitude deficit (compared to normal and starburst galaxies) in the strength of the [C II] line relative to the far-infrared (FIR) dust continuum emission found in our initial report, but here with a sample that is twice as large. This result suggests that the deficit is a general phenomenon affecting 4 out of 5 ULIRGs. We present an analysis using observations of generally acknowledged photodissociation region (PDR) tracers ([C II], [O I] 63 and 145 µm, and FIR continuum emission), which suggests that a high ultraviolet flux G0incident on a moderate density n PDR could explain the deficit. However, comparisons with other ULIRG observations, including CO (1-0), [C I] (1-0), and 6.2 µm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission, suggest that high G0/n PDRs alone cannot produce a self-consistent solution that is compatible with all of the observations. We propose that non-PDR contributions to the FIR continuum can explain the apparent [C II] deficiency. Here, unusually high G0and/or n physical conditions in ULIRGs as compared to those in normal and starburst galaxies are not required to explain the [C II] deficit. Dust-bounded photoionization regions, which generate much of the FIR emission but do not contribute significant [C II] emission, offer one possible physical origin for this additional non-PDR component. Such environments may also contribute to the observed suppression of FIR fine-structure emission from ionized gas and PAHs, as well as the warmer FIR colors found in ULIRGs. The implications for observations at higher redshifts are also revisited.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Galaxies: High-Redshift - Galaxies: ISM - Galaxies: Starburst - Infrared: Galaxies - ISM: Lines and Bands

Simbad objects: 40

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