EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 486, Number 3, August II 2008
Page(s) 807 - 818
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20079126
Published online 15 May 2008

A&A 486, 807-818 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20079126

Molecular gas associated with RCW 121 and RCW 122

E. M. Arnal1, 2, N. U. Duronea1, and J. C. Testori1

1  Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía (CCT-La Plata, CONICET), C.C. No. 5, 1894 Villa Elisa, Argentina
    e-mail: arnal@iar.unlp.edu.ar
2  Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina

Received 22 November 2007 / Accepted 30 April 2008

Aims. We analyse the distribution of the molecular gas towards the region containing the open cluster Havlen-Moffat 1 (HM 1) the Wolf-Rayet stars WR 87, WR 89, and WR 91, and the star forming regions RCW 121 and RCW 122, with the aim of looking for a possible physical relationship among these objects.
Methods. We used the carbon monoxide observations carried out at $\lambda$ ~ 2.6 mm with the 4 m NANTEN radiotelescope; new flux density determinations derived from already existing radio continuum surveys at 2.417, 5, 8.35, and 14.35 GHz; continuum flux density determinations available in the literature; and the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) and the Improved Reprocessing of the IRAS Survey (IRIS) databases.
Results. Adopting a distance of 5 kpc for RCW 121 and RCW 122, we found a giant molecular cloud (GMC) with a linear extent of ~100 $\times$ 20 pc to be associated with galactic star-forming regions. The total mass of this GMC is of the order of 1.2 $\times$ 106 solar masses and its mean radial velocity is about -15 km s-1. Within the GMC there are individual molecular gas concentrations, having total molecular masses in the range from 4.6 $\times$ 104 $M_\odot$ (RCW 122 C) to 2.2 $\times$ 105 $M_\odot$ (RCW 122). The CO profiles observed toward the peak of the molecular concentrations are broad, with typical full-width half-maximum around 6 to 7 km s-1, and show line asymmetries and/or double-peaked shape that change with the observed position within a given CO concentration. An analysis of the MSX and IRAS databases show that each CO concentration has a strong IR counterpart. The dust temperature of these concentrations range from 46 K (RCW 121) to 76 K (RCW 122 C). Their infrared luminosity are a few times 105 $L_{\odot}$. The new radio continuum flux density determinations are in good agreement with previous determinations at other frequencies, and confirm the thermal nature of RCW 121 and RCW 122. Based on the newly-determined 5 GHz flux density, we found that to power these HII regions, each of them must harbour a sizable number of O type stars. Under the assumption that all the ionizing stars have a O7 V spectral type, at least ~8 and ~4 of these stars would be needed to ionize RCW 122 and RCW 121, respectively.

Key words: ISM: molecules -- radio continuum: ISM -- infrared: ISM -- ISM: HII regions -- ISM: individual object: RCW 121 -- ISM: individual object: RCW 122

© ESO 2008