Most of observational researches on molecular gas in galaxies have focused on the two-dimensional distributions in galactic disks so far. In order to investigate vertical structure of the galactic disk and the disk-halo interaction we need high-resolution observations of edge-on galaxies.
So we observed the nearest edge-on galaxy, NGC 891, using the Nobeyama Millimeter Array (NMA). Its distance is estimated to be 8.9 Mpc using the Tully-Fisher relation and H-band photometric data. The synthesized beamsize was 4.5” x 4.4” and the field of view due to attenuation of the element antenna (Handa et al. 1992). The field center is 90”-offset from the center of the galaxy along the major axis toward the northern side, where the CO intensity has a local maximum (Sofue et al. 1987). After the standard data reduction procedure in AIPS, including CLEAN, we obtained 10 channel-maps with a 19.5 km s−1 velocity width from 289.8 km s−1 to 465.2 km s−1 with respect to the local standard of rest.
In the integrated intensity map a narrow CO emission ridge is seen (Figure 1). It is an edge-on view of molecular gas disk of the galaxy. The confinement of the CO emission in the thin disk suggests that most of the molecular gas is belonging to the population-I objects like in our Galaxy. The apparent thickness of the ridge is about 7”, which means that the deconvolved width is about 6” or 270 pc (FWHM). The position-velocity diagram averaged along the major axis over the field of view shows no systematic velocity gradient along the minor axis (Figure 2). It means that the deconvolved thickness of the CO disk is intrinsic. This width is broader than that of our Galaxy by factor 2. The geometrically thick CO disk of NGC 891 may be due to active star formation in the disk.