Volume 529, May 2011
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Published online||29 March 2011|
Molecular gas in NUclei of GAlaxies (NUGA)
XV. Molecular gas kinematics in the inner 3 kpc of NGC 6951⋆
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Université de Toulouse, UPS-OMP, IRAP, Toulouse, France
3 CNRS, IRAP, 9 Av. colonel Roche, BP 44346, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
4 Observatorio Astronomico Nacional (OAN)-Observatorio de Madrid, Alfonso XII 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain
5 LERMA, Observatoire de Paris, 61 Av. de l’Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
6 Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
7 Joint ALMA Observatory/ESO, Av. El Golf 40, Piso 18, Las Condes, Santiago, Chili
8 INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
9 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
Received: 23 March 2010
Accepted: 18 February 2011
Within the NUclei of GAlaxies (NUGA) project we have obtained IRAM PdBI and 30 m 12CO(1−0) and 12CO(2−1) observations of the spiral galaxy NGC 6951. Previous work shows that there is indirect evidence of gas inflow from 3 kpc down to small radii: a large-scale stellar bar, a prominent starburst ring (r ≈ 580 pc) and a LINER/Seyfert 2 nucleus. In this paper we study the gas kinematics as traced by the CO line emission in detail. We quantify the influence of the large-scale stellar bar by constructing an analytical model of the evolution of gas particles in a barred potential. From this model gravitational torques and mass accumulation rates are computed. We compare our model-based gravitational torque results with previous observationally-based ones. The model also shows that the large-scale stellar bar is indeed the dominant force for driving the gas inward, to the starburst ring. Inside the ring itself a nuclear stellar oval might play an important role. Detailed analysis of the CO gas kinematics there shows that emission arises from two co-spatial, but kinematically distinct components at several locations. The main emission component can always be related to the overall bar-driven gas kinematics. The second component exhibits velocities that are larger than expected for gas on stable orbits, has a molecular gas mass of 1.8 × 106 M⊙, is very likely connected to the nuclear stellar oval, and is consistent with inflowing motion towards the very center. This may form the last link in the chain of gas inflow towards the active galactic nucleus in NGC 6951.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 6951 / galaxies: nuclei / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: Seyfert
© ESO, 2011
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