skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on May 27, 2023

Title: An Interferometric View of H-MM1. I. Direct Observation of NH 3 Depletion
Abstract Spectral lines of ammonia, NH 3 , are useful probes of the physical conditions in dense molecular cloud cores. In addition to advantages in spectroscopy, ammonia has also been suggested to be resistant to freezing onto grain surfaces, which should make it a superior tool for studying the interior parts of cold, dense cores. Here we present high-resolution NH 3 observations with the Very Large Array and Green Bank Telescope toward a prestellar core. These observations show an outer region with a fractional NH 3 abundance of X (NH 3 ) = (1.975 ± 0.005) × 10 −8 (±10% systematic), but it also reveals that, after all, the X (NH 3 ) starts to decrease above a H 2 column density of ≈2.6 × 10 22 cm −2 . We derive a density model for the core and find that the break point in the fractional abundance occurs at the density n (H 2 ) ∼ 2 × 10 5 cm −3 , and beyond this point the fractional abundance decreases with increasing density, following the power law n −1.1 . This power-law behavior is well reproduced by chemical models where adsorption onto grains dominates the removal of ammonia more » and related species from the gas at high densities. We suggest that the break-point density changes from core to core depending on the temperature and the grain properties, but that the depletion power law is anyway likely to be close to n −1 owing to the dominance of accretion in the central parts of starless cores. « less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astronomical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Context. Stars form in cold dense cores showing subsonic velocity dispersions. The parental molecular clouds display higher temperatures and supersonic velocity dispersions. The transition from core to cloud has been observed in velocity dispersion, but temperature and abundance variations are unknown. Aims. We aim to measure the temperature and velocity dispersion across cores and ambient cloud in a single tracer to study the transition between the two regions. Methods. We use NH 3 (1,1) and (2,2) maps in L1688 from the Green Bank Ammonia Survey, smoothed to 1′, and determine the physical properties by fitting the spectra. We identify the coherent cores and study the changes in temperature and velocity dispersion from the cores to the surrounding cloud. Results. We obtain a kinetic temperature map extending beyond dense cores and tracing the cloud, improving from previous maps tracing mostly the cores. The cloud is 4–6 K warmer than the cores, and shows a larger velocity dispersion (Δ σ v = 0.15–0.25 km s −1 ). Comparing to Herschel -based dust temperatures, we find that cores show kinetic temperatures that are ≈1.8 K lower than the dust temperature, while the gas temperature is higher than the dust temperature in the cloud.more »We find an average p-NH 3 fractional abundance (with respect to H 2 ) of (4.2 ± 0.2) × 10 −9 towards the coherent cores, and (1.4 ± 0.1) × 10 −9 outside the core boundaries. Using stacked spectra, we detect two components, one narrow and one broad, towards cores and their neighbourhoods. We find the turbulence in the narrow component to be correlated with the size of the structure (Pearson- r = 0.54). With these unresolved regional measurements, we obtain a turbulence–size relation of σ v,NT ∝ r 0.5 , which is similar to previous findings using multiple tracers. Conclusions. We discover that the subsonic component extends up to 0.15 pc beyond the typical coherent boundaries, unveiling larger extents of the coherent cores and showing gradual transition to coherence over ~0.2 pc.« less
  2. Abstract We report X-ray observations of the most distant known gravitationally lensed quasar, J0439+1634 at z = 6.52, which is also a broad absorption line (BAL) quasar, using the XMM-Newton Observatory. With a 130 ks exposure, the quasar is significantly detected as a point source at the optical position with a total of 358 − 19 + 19 net counts using the EPIC instrument. By fitting a power law plus Galactic absorption model to the observed spectra, we obtain a spectral slope of Γ = 1.45 − 0.09 + 0.10 . The derived optical-to-X-ray spectral slope α ox is − 2.07 − 0.01 + 0.01 , suggesting that the X-ray emission of J0439+1634 is weaker by a factor of 18 than the expectation based on its 2500 Å luminosity and the average α ox versus luminosity relationship. This is the first time that an X-ray weak BAL quasar at z > 6 has been observed spectroscopically. Its X-ray weakness is consistent with the properties of BAL quasars at lower redshift. By fitting a model including an intrinsic absorption component, we obtain intrinsic column densities of N H = 2.8 − 0.6 + 0.7 × 10 23 cm − 2 andmore »N H = 4.3 − 1.5 + 1.8 × 10 23 cm − 2 , assuming a fixed Γ of 1.9 and a free Γ, respectively. The intrinsic rest-frame 2–10 keV luminosity is derived as (9.4–15.1) × 10 43 erg s −1 , after correcting for lensing magnification ( μ = 51.3). The absorbed power-law model fitting indicates that J0439+1634 is the highest redshift obscured quasar with a direct measurement of the absorbing column density. The intrinsic high column density absorption can reduce the X-ray luminosity by a factor of 3–7, which also indicates that this quasar could be a candidate intrinsically X-ray weak quasar.« less
  3. Abstract We use 3 mm continuum NOrthern Extended Millimeter Array and NH 3 Very Large Array observations toward the First Hydrostatic Core (FHSC) candidate CB 17 MMS in order to reveal the dust structure and gas properties to 600–1100 au scales and to constrain its evolutionary stage. We do not detect any compact source at the previously identified 1.3 mm point source, despite expecting a minimum signal-to-noise ratio of 9. The gas traced by NH 3 exhibits subsonic motions, with an average temperature of 10.4 K. A fit of the radial column density profile derived from the ammonia emission finds a flat inner region of radius ∼1800 au and a central density of ∼6 × 10 5 cm −3 . Virial and density structure analysis reveals the core is marginally bound ( α vir = 0.73). The region is entirely consistent with that of a young starless core, hence ruling out CB 17 MMS as an FHSC candidate. Additionally, the core exhibits a velocity gradient aligned with the major axis, showing an arc-like structure in the position–velocity diagram and an off-center region with high velocity dispersion, caused by two distinct velocity peaks. These features could be due to interactions withmore »the nearby outflow, which appears to deflect due to the dense gas near the NH 3 column density peak. We investigate the specific angular momentum profile of the starless core, finding that it aligns closely with previous studies of similar radial profiles in Class 0 sources. This similarity to more evolved objects suggests that motions at 1000 au scales are determined by large-scale dense cloud motions, and may be preserved throughout the early stages of star formation.« less
  4. Abstract
    Site description. This data package consists of data obtained from sampling surface soil (the 0-7.6 cm depth profile) in black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) dominated forest and black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) saltmarsh along the Gulf of Mexico coastline in peninsular west-central Florida, USA. This location has a subtropical climate with mean daily temperatures ranging from 15.4 °C in January to 27.8 °C in August, and annual precipitation of 1336 mm. Precipitation falls as rain primarily between June and September. Tides are semi-diurnal, with 0.57 m median amplitudes during the year preceding sampling (U.S. NOAA National Ocean Service, Clearwater Beach, Florida, station 8726724). Sea-level rise is 4.0 ± 0.6 mm per year (1973-2020 trend, mean ± 95 % confidence interval, NOAA NOS Clearwater Beach station). The A. germinans mangrove zone is either adjacent to water or fringed on the seaward side by a narrow band of red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). A near-monoculture of J. roemerianus is often adjacent to and immediately landward of the A. germinans zone. The transition from the mangrove to the J. roemerianus zone is variable in our study area. An abrupt edge between closed-canopy mangrove and J. roemerianus monoculture may extend for up to several hundred metersMore>>
  5. We investigate the molecular gas content of z  ∼ 6 quasar host galaxies using the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique Northern Extended Millimeter Array. We targeted the 3 mm dust continuum, and the line emission from CO(6–5), CO(7–6), and [C  I ] 2−1 in ten infrared–luminous quasars that have been previously studied in their 1 mm dust continuum and [C  II ] line emission. We detected CO(7–6) at various degrees of significance in all the targeted sources, thus doubling the number of such detections in z  ∼ 6 quasars. The 3 mm to 1 mm flux density ratios are consistent with a modified black body spectrum with a dust temperature T dust  ∼ 47 K and an optical depth τ ν  = 0.2 at the [C  II ] frequency. Our study provides us with four independent ways to estimate the molecular gas mass, M H2 , in the targeted quasars. This allows us to set constraints on various parameters used in the derivation of molecular gas mass estimates, such as the mass per luminosity ratios α CO and α [CII] , the gas-to-dust mass ratio δ g/d , and the carbon abundance [C]/H 2 . Leveraging either on the dust, CO, [C  I ], ormore »[C  II ] emission yields mass estimates of the entire sample in the range M H2  ∼ 10 10 –10 11 M ⊙ . We compared the observed luminosities of dust, [C  II ], [C  I ], and CO(7–6) with predictions from photo-dissociation and X-ray dominated regions. We find that the former provide better model fits to our data, assuming that the bulk of the emission arises from dense ( n H  > 10 4 cm −3 ) clouds with a column density N H  ∼ 10 23 cm −2 , exposed to a radiation field with an intensity of G 0  ∼ 10 3 (in Habing units). Our analysis reiterates the presence of massive reservoirs of molecular gas fueling star formation and nuclear accretion in z  ∼ 6 quasar host galaxies. It also highlights the power of combined 3 mm and 1 mm observations for quantitative studies of the dense gas content in massive galaxies at cosmic dawn.« less