EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 507, Number 3, December I 2009
Page(s) 1467 - 1473
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200911894
Published online 01 October 2009
A&A 507, 1467-1473 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200911894

7 mm continuum observations of ultra compact HII regions

P. Leto1, 2, G. Umana1, C. Trigilio1, C. S. Buemi1, S. Dolei3, P. Manzitto3, L. Cerrigone4, and C. Siringo3

1  INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
    e-mail: paolo.leto@oact.inaf.it
2  INAF – Istituto di Radioastronomia, Sezione di Noto, C.P. 161, Noto (SR), Italy
3  Università di Catania, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, via S. Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
4  Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany

Received 20 February 2009 / Accepted 8 September 2009

Aims. Ultra compact HII (UCHII) regions are indicators of high-mass star formation sites and are distributed mainly in the Galactic plane. They exhibit a broad band spectrum with significant emission between near-IR and radio wavelengths. We intend to investigate the possible contribution of the forthcoming ESA Planck mission to the science of UCHII regions by evaluating the possibility of detecting UCHIIs that are bright in the radio regime.
Methods. We performed new 7 mm observations of a sample of UCHII regions. The observations were designed to acquire high-frequency radio spectra. For each source in our sample, the free-free radio spectrum has been modeled. Along with far-IR measurements, our spectra allow us to estimate the flux densities of the sources in the millimeter and sub-millimeter bands. We extrapolated and summed the ionized-gas (free-free radio emission) and dust (thermal emission) contributions in the afore mentioned wavelength ranges. The possibility of Planck detecting the selected sources can be assessed by comparing the estimated flux densities to the expected sensitivity in each Planck channel. To obtain a realistic estimation of the noise produced by the Galactic emission, the Planck sky model software package was used.
Results. For each target source, from our new 7 mm data and other radio measurements from the literature, important physical parameters such as electron density and their spatial distribution, source geometry and emission measure were derived. We conclude that, in the case of the present sample, located close to the Galactic center, Planck will have a very low detection rate. In contrast, assuming that our sample is representative of the whole UCHII-region population, we derive a very high probability of detecting this kind of source with Planck if located instead close to the anticenter. From the analysis of the ionized-gas properties, we suggest that the selected sample could also be contaminated by other kinds of Galactic objects.

Key words: H II regions -- radio continuum: ISM -- stars: formation -- ISM: dust, extinction -- stars: circumstellar matter

© ESO 2009