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Molecular Gas in Galactic Nuclei

  • Nick Scoville (a1)

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Recent high resolution interferometric observations of the molecular gas in luminous IR galaxies reveal extraordinary concentrations of star forming material in the central few kpc. In several of the nearest IR bright galaxies, the molecular gas in the central regions is concentrated in a bar-like distribution (IC342, NGC 6946, and NGC 253) and in NGC 1068, approximately 40% of the molecular gas is confined to two arms or a ring at approximately 1.6 kpc radius. Interferometry on the most luminous galaxies (LIR ≥ 1011L) reveals that approximately half of the total interstellar matter is contained in the central kpc with mean densities of several hundred H2 cm-3. Such gas concentrations should result in the very rapid formation of stars, i.e. a central star burst yielding a massive central star cluster.

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References

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Ball, R., Sargent, A.I., Scoville, N.Z., Lo, K.Y., and Scott, S.L. 1985, Ap.J. (Letters), 298, L21
Canzian, B.J., Mundy, L.G., and Scoville, N.Z. 1988, in preparation
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Norman, C.A. and Scoville, N.Z. 1988, Ap.J. 332, 163
Sanders, D.B., Scoville, N.Z., Sargent, A.I., and Soifer, B.T. 1988, Ap.J. (Letters), 324, L55
Sargent, A.I., Sanders, D.B., Scoville, N.Z., and Soifer, B.T. 1987, Ap.J. (Letters), 312, 235
Scoville, N.Z., Matthews, K., Carico, D., and Sanders, D.B. 1988, Ap.J. (Letters) (submitted)
Scoville, N.Z. and Norman, C.A. 1988, Ap.J., 332, 163
Scoville, N.Z., Sanders, D.B., Sargent, A.I., Soifer, B.T., Scott, S.L., and Lo, K.Y. 1986, Ap. J. (Letters), 311, L47
Scoville, N.Z., Soifer, T., Neugebauer, G., Young, J.S., Matthews, K., and Yerka, J. 1985, Ap.J., 289, 129
Soifer, B.T., et al. 1984, Ap. J., 283, LI
Young, J.S., Kenney, J., Lord, S.D., and Schloerb, F.P. 1984, Ap.J. (Letters), 287, L65

Molecular Gas in Galactic Nuclei

  • Nick Scoville (a1)

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