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Sub-Millimeter Spectral Line Observations in Very Dense Regions

  • Neal J. Evans (a1), Lee G. Mundy (a1), John H. Davis (a1) and Paul Vanden Bout (a1)

Abstract

In a search for very high density (n ≳ 107 cm−3) regions, the Millimeter Wave Observatory 5-m telescope was used to observe several submillimeter lines. The regions studied were Orion A, M17, S140, and NGC2024. The lines were CS(J=7-6), H2CO(JK-1K1=515→414), and HCN(J=4-3). These data are combined with data at millimeter wavelengths to derive the volume density and the results are compared to those deduced from millimeter lines alone (Snell et al. 1984). In NGC2024, higher densities (≳ 107 cm−3) are clearly indicated by the sub-mm lines than were derived by Snell et al. In M17, derived densities are also higher, but uncertainties overlap the Snell et al. solutions. The range of densities derived from CS and HCN are consistent. The sub-millimeter lines of these species appear to be good probes of the highest densities present in regions of active star formation.

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1 Currently at Owens Valley Radio Observatory, California Institute of Technology

2 Currently at National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

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