Herschel SPIRE-FTS observations of RCW 120⋆
1 European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago 19, Chile
2 Aix-Marseille université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, 13388 Marseille, France
3 Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS/Université Paris-Sud 11, 91405 Orsay, France
4 LUTH, Observatoire de Paris et Université Paris 7, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
Received: 26 September 2012
Accepted: 14 April 2015
Context. The expansion of Galactic H ii regions can trigger the formation of a new generation of stars. However, little is know about the physical conditions that prevail in these regions.
Aims. We study the physical conditions that prevail in specific zones towards expanding H ii regions that trace representative media such as the photodissociation region, the ionized region, and condensations with and without ongoing star formation.
Methods. We use the SPIRE Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) on board Herschel to observe the H ii region RCW 120. Continuum and lines are observed in the 190−670μm range. Line intensities and line ratios are obtained and used as physical diagnostics of the gas. We used the Meudon PDR code and the RADEX code to derive the gas density and the radiation field at nine distinct positions including the PDR surface and regions with and without star-formation activity.
Results. For the different regions we detect the atomic lines [NII] at 205μm and [CI] at 370 and 609μm, the 12CO ladder between the J = 4 and J = 13 levels and the 13CO ladder between the J = 5 and J = 14 levels, as well as CH+ in absorption. We find gas temperatures in the range 45−250 K for densities of 104−106 cm-3, and a high column density on the order of NH ~ 1022 cm-2 that is in agreement with dust analysis. The ubiquitousness of the atomic and CH+ emission suggests the presence of a low-density PDR throughout RCW 120. High-excitation lines of CO indicate the presence of irradiated dense structures or small dense clumps containing young stellar objects, while we also find a less dense medium (NH ~ 1020 cm-2) with high temperatures (80−200 K).
Key words: ISM: bubbles / HII regions / ISM: individual objects: RCW 120 / photon-dominated region (PDR) / infrared: ISM / submillimeter: ISM
© ESO, 2015