Volume 574, February 2015
|Number of page(s)||10|
|Published online||03 February 2015|
The inhomogeneous ISM toward PKS 1830–211 SW: A detailed view of molecular gas at a look-back time of 7.5 Gyr⋆
Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn,
Auf dem Hügel 71,
2 Institut für Physik und ihre Didaktik, Universität zu Köln, Gronewaldstr. 2, 50931 Köln, Germany
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
4 Astron. Dept., King Abdulaziz University, PO Box 80203, 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
5 Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences, Chalmers University, Onsala Space Observatory, 43992 Onsala, Sweden
6 Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Received: 28 September 2014
Accepted: 4 December 2014
Based on measurements with the Effelsberg 100-m telescope, a multiline study of molecular species is presented toward the southwestern source of the gravitational lens system PKS 1830–211, which is by far the best known target for studying molecular gas in absorption at intermediate redshift. Determining line parameters and optical depths and performing large velocity gradient radiative transfer calculations, the aims of this study are (1) to evaluate physical parameters of the absorbing foreground gas at z ~ 0.89, in particular its homogeneity; and (2) to monitor the spectroscopic time variability caused by fluctuations in the z ~ 2.5 background continuum source. We find, that the gas is quite inhomogeneous with n(H2) ~ 2 × 103 cm-3 for most molecular species but with higher values for H2CO and lower ones for SO. Measuring the CS J = 1 ← 0 transition during a time interval of more than a decade, from 2001 to 2012, the peak absorption depth of the line remains approximately constant, while the line shape undergoes notable variations. Covering the time between 1996 and 2013, CS, HCO+, and CH3OH data indicate maximum integrated optical depths in ~2001 and 2011/2012. This is compatible with a ~10 yr periodicity, which, however, needs confirmation by substantially longer time monitoring. Comparing molecular abundances with those of different types of Galactic and nearby extragalactic clouds we find that the observed cloud complex does not correspond to one particular type but to a variety of cloud types with more diffuse and denser components as can be expected for an observed region with a transverse linear scale of several parsec and a likely greater depth along the line of sight. A tentative detection of Galactic absorption in the c-C3H2 110−101 line at 18.343 GHz is also reported.
Key words: galaxies: abundances / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: individual: PKS 1830-211 SW / gravitational lensing: strong / radio lines: galaxies / radio lines: ISM
The spectra (FITS files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/574/A108
© ESO, 2015
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