EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 491, Number 3, December I 2008
Page(s) 703 - 711
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200810162
Published online 01 October 2008

A&A 491, 703-711 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810162

HCN(1–0) enhancement in the bar of NGC 2903

S. Leon1, S. Jeyakumar2, D. Pérez-Ramírez3, L. Verdes-Montenegro4, S. W. Lee5, and B. Ocaña Flaquer1

1  Instituto de Radioastronomía Milimétrica (IRAM), Avenida Divina Pastora 7, Núcleo Central, 18012 Granada, Spain
    e-mail: leon@iram.es
2  Departamento de Astronoma, Universidad de Guanajuato, AP 144, Guanajuato CP 36000, Mexico
3  University of Jaén, Jaén, Spain
4  Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía-CSIC, Granada, Spain
5  University of Toronto, Astronomy Department, Toronto, Canada

Received 8 May 2008 / Accepted 2 September 2008

We have mapped the HCN(1–0) emission from two spiral galaxies, NGC 2903 and NGC 3504 to study the gas properties in the bars. The HCN(1–0) emission is detected in the center and along the bar of NGC 2903. The line ratio HCN(1–0)/ 12CO(1–0) ranges from 0.07 to 0.12 with the lowest value in the center. The enhancement of HCN(1–0) emission along the bar indicates a higher fraction of dense molecular gas in the bar than at the center. The mass of dense molecular gas in the center (2.2 $\times$ 107 $\mathcal{M}_{\odot}$) is about 6 times lower than that in the bar (1.2 $\times$ 108 $\mathcal{M}_{\odot}$). The total star formation rate (SFR) is estimated to be 1.4 $\mathcal{M}_{\odot}$ yr-1, where the SFR at the center is 1.9 times higher than that in the bar. The time scale of consumption of the dense molecular gas in the center is about ~ 3 $\times$ 107 yr which is much shorter than that in the bar of about 2 to 10 $\times$ 108 yr. The dynamical time scale of inflow of the gas from the bar to the center is shorter than the consumption time scale in the bar, which suggests that the star formation (SF) activity at the center is not deprived of fuel. In the bar, the fraction of dense molecular gas mass relative to the total molecular gas mass is twice as high along the leading edge than along the central axis of the bar. The HCN(1–0) emission has a large velocity dispersion in the bar, which can be attributed partially to the streaming motions indicative of shocks along the bar. In NGC 3504, the HCN(1–0) emission is detected only at the center. The fraction of dense molecular gas mass in the center is about 15%. Comparison of the SFR with the predictions from numerical simulations suggest that NGC 2903 harbors a young type B bar with a strong inflow of gas toward the center whereas NGC 3504 has an older bar and has already passed the phase of inflow of gas toward the center.

Key words: galaxies: spiral -- galaxies: ISM -- galaxies: evolution

© ESO 2008