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Systematic variation of the 12CO/13CO ratio as a function of star formation rate surface density

Davis, Timothy 2014. Systematic variation of the 12CO/13CO ratio as a function of star formation rate surface density. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 445 (3) , pp. 2378-2384. 10.1093/mnras/stu1850

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Abstract

We show that the 12CO/13CO intensity ratio in nearby galaxies varies systematically as a function of the star formation rate surface density (ΣSFR) and gas surface density. The same effect is observed in different transitions, and in the 12CO/C18O ratio, while the 13CO/C18O ratio appears to remain constant as a function of ΣSFR. We discuss the cause of these variations, considering both changes in the physical state of the gas and chemical changes that lead to abundance variations. We used the observed correlations with C18O to suggest that abundance variations are unlikely to be causing the systematic trend observed with ΣSFR, and thus that the mean gas temperature and/or velocity dispersion are systematically higher in higher SFR surface density regions. We present the best-fitting relations between ΣSFR and the 12CO/13CO and 12CO/C18O ratios, and discuss how this effect can help us predict CO isotope emission from galaxies across the known Universe.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 5 September 2014
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 09:47
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/87974

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