Hyperfine anomalies in the ammonia (1,1) inversion transition: Can they be a tracer of systematic motion?
Astronomy Program, SEES, Seoul National University, Shillim-dong Kwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, Korea
Accepted: 27 June 2001
The hyperfine lines of an ammonia (1,1) inversion transition often exhibit anomalous intensity ratios towards star-forming cores. It has been known that the anomaly is only partially attributable to a non-LTE effect on the hyperfine transitions. In an attempt to investigate how systematic motion like expansion and contraction affect the line anomaly, whose existence is quite likely in star-forming cores, we have carried out radiative transfer calculations fully taking into account the hyperfine splitting of energy levels and the line overlap effect caused by the systematic motion. It is demonstrated that in a bundle of transitions from the (2,2) to (1,1) levels, photons emitted from one transition can be absorbed by another transition due to the systematic motion and the small frequency differences among the hyperfine transitions, resulting in drastic changes in the level populations of (1,1) sub-states. Expansion (contraction) is found to strengthen the inner as well as outer satellite lines on the red (blue) side, while suppressing those on the other side. The line anomaly becomes prominent as the ammonia column density increases. It is concluded that the hyperfine line intensity ratios could be a good probe for tracing the systematic motion inside the dense cores without relying on detailed analysis of line shapes.
Key words: ISM: clouds / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / ISM: molecules / line: formation / radiative transfer
© ESO, 2001