EDP Sciences
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Volume 479, Number 1, February III 2008
Page(s) 75 - 82
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20078018

A&A 479, 75-82 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20078018

$^\mathsf{{12}}$CO 4-3 and [CI] 1-0 at the centers of NGC 4945 and Circinus

M. Hitschfeld1, M. Aravena2, C. Kramer1, F. Bertoldi2, J. Stutzki1, F. Bensch2, L. Bronfman3, M. Cubick1, M. Fujishita4, Y. Fukui4, U. U. Graf1, N. Honingh1, S. Ito4, H. Jakob1, K. Jacobs1, U. Klein2, B.-C. Koo5, J. May3, M. Miller1, Y. Miyamoto4, N. Mizuno4, T. Onishi4, Y.-S. Park5, J. L. Pineda2, D. Rabanus1, M. Röllig2, H. Sasago4, R. Schieder1, R. Simon1, K. Sun1, N. Volgenau1, H. Yamamoto4, and Y. Yonekura6

1  KOSMA, I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Straße 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
    e-mail: hitschfeld@ph1.uni-koeln.de
2  Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3  Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 36-D, Santiago, Chile
4  Department of Astrophysics, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan
5  Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea
6  Department of Physical Science, Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka 599-8531, Japan

(Received 5 June 2007 / Accepted 7 November 2007)

Context. Studying molecular gas in the central regions of the star burst galaxies NGC 4945 and Circinus enables us to characterize the physical conditions and compare them to previous local and high-z studies.
Aims.We estimate temperature, molecular density and column densities of CO and atomic carbon. Using model predictions we give a range of estimated CO/C abundance ratios.
Methods.Using the new NANTEN2 4 m sub-millimeter telescope in Pampa La Bola, Chile, we observed for the first time CO 4-3 and [ $\ion{C}{i}$] $\rm ^3P_1{-}^3P_0$ at the centers of both galaxies at linear scale of 682 pc and 732 pc respectively. We compute the cooling curves of 12CO and 13CO using radiative transfer models and estimate the physical conditions of CO and [CI].
Results.The centers of NGC 4945 and Circinus are very [ $\ion{C}{i}$] bright objects, exhibiting [ $\ion{C}{i}$] $\rm ^3P_1{-}^3P_0$ luminosities of 91 and 67 K km s-1 kpc2, respectively. The [ $\ion{C}{i}$] $\rm ^3P_1{-}^3P_0$/CO 4-3 ratio of integrated intensities are large at 1.2 in NGC 4945 and 2.8 in Circinus. Combining previous CO J= 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 and 13CO J= 1-0, 2-1 studies with our new observations, the radiative transfer calculations give a range of densities, $n(\rm H_{2})=10^{3}{-}3 \times 10^{4}$ cm-3, and a wide range of kinetic temperatures, $T_{\rm kin}= 20{-}100$ K, depending on the density. To discuss the degeneracy in density and temperature, we study two representative solutions. In both galaxies the estimated total [CI] cooling intensity is stronger by factors of ~1-3 compared to the total CO cooling intensity. The CO/C abundance ratios are 0.2-2, similar to values found in Galactic translucent clouds.
Conclusions.Our new observations enable us to further constrain the excitation conditions and estimate the line emission of higher-J CO- and the upper [CI]-lines. For the first time we give estimates for the CO/C abundance ratio in the center regions of these galaxies. Future CO J= 7-6 and [CI] 2-1 observations will be important to resolve the ambiguity in the physical conditions and confirm the model predictions.

Key words: galaxies: starburst -- galaxies: nuclei -- galaxies: ISM -- galaxies: active -- galaxies: individual: NGC 4945 -- galaxies: individual: Circinus

© ESO 2008