Volume 589, May 2016
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Published online||08 April 2016|
Carbon gas in SMC low-metallicity star-forming regions⋆
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Sterrewacht Leiden, University of Leiden, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
3 I. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Strasse 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
4 SOFIA Science Center, Deutsches SOFIA Institut, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
5 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, 21218 MD, USA
Received: 2 April 2015
Accepted: 15 February 2016
This paper presents [ CII ], [ CI ] and CO emission line maps of the star-forming regions N 66, N 25+N 26, and N 88 in the metal-poor Local Group dwarf galaxy SMC. The spatial and velocity structure of the large HII region N 66 reveals an expanding ring of shocked molecular gas centered on the exciting star cluster NGC 346, whereas a more distant dense molecular cloud is being eroded by UV radiation from the same cluster. In the N 25+N 26 and N 88 maps, diffuse [ CII ] emission at a relatively low surface brightness extends well beyond the compact boundaries of the bright emission associated with the HII regions. In all regions, the distribution of this bright [ CII ] emission and the less prominent [ CI ] emission closely follows the outline of the CO complexes, but the intensity of the [ CII ] and [ CI ] emission is generally anticorrelated, which can be understood by the action of photodissociation and photoionization processes. Notwithstanding the overall similarity of CO and [ CII ] maps, the intensity ratio of these lines varies significantly, mostly due to changes in CO brightness. [ CII ] emission line profiles are up to 50% wider in velocity than corresponding CO profiles. A radiative transfer analysis shows that the [ CII ] line is the dominant tracer of (CO-dark) molecular hydrogen in the SMC. CO emission traces only a minor fraction of the total amount of gas. The similarity of the spatial distribution and line profile shape, and the dominance of molecular gas associated with [ CII ] rather than CO emission imply that in the low-metallicity environment of the SMC the small amount of dense molecular gas traced by CO is embedded in the much more extended molecular gas traced only by [ CII ] emission. The contribution from neutral atomic and ionized hydrogen zones is negligible in the star-forming regions observed.
Key words: Magellanic Clouds / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / ISM: lines and bands / ISM: individual objects: N 66 / ISM: individual objects: N 88 / ISM: individual objects: N 25/N 26
The reduced datacubes (FITS files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/589/A28
© ESO, 2016
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