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Paper: A far-infrared spectral line survey of 23 infrared-bright Galaxy nuclei
Volume: 73, Airborne Astronomy Symposium on the Galactic Ecosystem: From Gas to Stars to Dust
Page: 151
Authors: Lord, Steven D.; Hollenbach, David J.; Colgan, Sean W. J.; Haas, Michael R.; Rubin, Robert H.; Madden, Suzanne C.; Steiman-Cameron, Thomas Y.; Carral, Patricia; Maloney, Philip R.; Erickson, Edwin F.
Abstract: We present results from a KAO survey of fine-structure lines observed in 23 infrared-luminous galaxies. One or more of the following lines was observed and/or detected in each galaxy: (S III) 19, 33 microns, (Ne V) 24 microns, (O IV) 26 microns, (Fe II) 26 microns, (Si II) 35 microns, (O III) 52, 88 microns, (0 I) 63, 146 microns, (N III) 57 micro ns, (N II) 122, 205 microns, (C II) 158 microns. The galaxies span a wide range of morphologies (irregular to grand design), have varying metallicities, and include mergers, AGN's, and starburst systems. The observations were made beginning in 1988 using the facility Cryogenic Grating Spectrometer onboard the KAO at a typical resolution of approximately 60-140 km/s and with a 30-44 deg beam. We interpret the (C II) and (O I) fluxes, along with previous measurements of the IR continuum fluxes, in the context of photo dissociation region (PDR) models (Tielens & Hollenbach 1985; Wolfire et al. 1990). With these models, we obtain estimates of the typical interstellar UV fields incident on the line emitting regions (102-104 times the local interstellar radiation field) and the total masses (107-108 Solar Mass), densities (103-104/cu cm), and temperatures (100-250 K) of the warm atomic gas. The (O III) (52/88) and (S III) (33/19) line flux ratios constrain the range of electron densities and pressures found within the ionized regions. The (O III) and (S III) lines also provide estimates of the effective temperature of the ionizing stars and elemental abundances within the ionized regions of these galactic nuclei. Our measurements imply typical gas pressures of nT approximately 5 x 106/cu cm K and typical upper mass cutoffs of 25-35 Solar Mass. The low-metallicity systems show high (C II)/CO and (O I)/CO flux ratios, 3-5 times the Milky Way value, indicating that they contain a larger fraction of photodissociated gas relative to the molecular material.
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