Cartoon representation of the molecular gas structures in NGC 1614 (left) and an HST image of the same region for comparison (right). A high percentage of the 12CO 1−0 emission (hatched red) is associated with the dust lane. The gas in the dust lane is in the form of diffuse gas. The 13CO 1−0 emitting gas is not fully distributed throughout the dust lane (hatched gray). Its emission peak (blue star) is located in the “umbilical cord”, the connection between the molecular gas in the circumnuclear ring, traced by 12CO 2−1 emission (crosshatch pattern, König et al. 2013), and the dust lane. The diffuse gas is being transported along the dust lane in the form of unbound molecular clouds (GMCs). The interaction with density waves (red arrows) causes the gas in the clouds to become self-gravitating. In the umbilical cord, crowding processes in the merger potential occur and the GMCs form GMAs through collisional coagulation. These larger associations are then transported further onto the circumnuclear ring and star formation may be triggered.
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