Volume 574, February 2015
|Number of page(s)
|05 February 2015
Diagnostics of the molecular component of photon-dominated regions with mechanical heating
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University,
PO Box 9513
2 Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
Received: 4 October 2013
Accepted: 10 April 2014
CO observations in active galactic nuclei and starbursts reveal high kinetic temperatures. Those environments are thought to be very turbulent due to dynamic phenomena, such as outflows and high supernova rates. We investigate the effect of mechanical heating on atomic fine-structure and molecular lines and on their ratios. We try to use those ratios as a diagnostic to constrain the amount of mechanical heating in an object and also study its significance on estimating the H2 mass. Equilibrium photodissociation models (PDRs hereafter) were used to compute the thermal and chemical balance for the clouds. The equilibria were solved for numerically using the optimized version of the Leiden PDR-XDR code. Large velocity-gradient calculations were done as post-processing on the output of the PDR models using RADEX. High-J CO line ratios are very sensitive to mechanical heating (Γmech hereafter). These emission becomes at least one order of magnitude brighter in clouds with n ~ 105 cm-3 and a star formation rate of 1 M⊙ yr-1 (corresponding to Γmech = 2 × 10-19 erg cm-3 s-1). The emission of low-J CO lines is not as sensitive to Γmech, but they do become brighter in response to Γmech. Generally, for all of the lines we considered, Γmech increases excitation temperatures and decreases the optical depth at the line centre. Hence line ratios are also affected, strongly in some cases. Ratios involving HCN are a good diagnostic for Γmech, where the HCN(1–0)/CO(1–0) increases from 0.06 to 0.25, and the HCN(1–0)/HCO+(1–0) increase from 0.15 to 0.5 for amounts of Γmech that are equivalent to 5% of the surface heating rate. Both ratios increase to more than 1 for higher Γmech, as opposed to being much less than unity in pure PDRs. The first major conclusion is that low-J to high-J intensity ratios will yield a good estimate of the mechanical heating rate (as opposed to only low-J ratios). The second one is that the mechanical heating rate should be taken into account when determing AV or, equivalently, NH, and consequently the cloud mass. Ignoring Γmech will also lead to large errors in density and radiation field estimates.
Key words: galaxies: ISM / photon-dominated region / turbulence / ISM: molecules / ISM: clouds
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
The data used to generate all the grids are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/574/A127
© ESO, 2015
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