EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 436, Number 2, June III 2005
Page(s) 397 - 409
Section Astrophysical processes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20042398

A&A 436, 397-409 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20042398

Diagnostics of irradiated gas in galaxy nuclei

I. A far-ultraviolet and X-ray dominated region code
R. Meijerink1 and M. Spaans2

1  Sterrewacht Leiden, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
    e-mail: meijerin@strw.leidenuniv.nl
2  Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands

(Received 19 November 2004 / Accepted 22 February 2005)

We present a far-ultraviolet (PDR) and an X-ray dominated region (XDR) code. We include and discuss thermal and chemical processes that pertain to irradiated gas. An elaborate chemical network is used and a careful treatment of PAHs and H2 formation, destruction and excitation is included. For both codes we calculate four depth-dependent models for different densities and radiation fields, relevant to conditions in starburst galaxies and active galactic nuclei. A detailed comparison between PDR and XDR physics is made for total gas column densities between ~1020 and ~1025 cm-2. We show cumulative line intensities for a number of fine-structure lines (e.g., [CII], [OI], [CI], [SiII], [FeII]), as well as cumulative column densities and column density ratios for a number of species (e.g., CO/H2, CO/C, HCO+/HCN, HNC/HCN). The comparison between the results for the PDRs and XDRs shows that column density ratios are almost constant up to $N_{\rm H}=10^{22}\ {\rm
cm^{-2}}$ for XDRs, unlike those in PDRs. For example, CO/C in PDRs changes over four orders of magnitude from the edge to $N_{\rm H}=10^{22}\ {\rm
cm^{-2}}$. The CO/C and CO/H2 ratios are lower in XDRs at low column densities and rise at $N_{\rm H}>10^{23}\ {\rm
cm^{-2}}$. At most column densities $N_{\rm H} > 10^{21.5}\ {\rm
cm^{-2}}$, HNC/HCN ratios are lower in XDRs too, but they show a more moderate increase at higher $N_{\rm H}$.

Key words: astrochemistry -- galaxies: starburst -- galaxies: active

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