Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Very large array observations of ammonia in infrared-dark clouds. I. column density and temperature structure

Ragan, Sarah, Bergin, Edwin and Wilner, David 2011. Very large array observations of ammonia in infrared-dark clouds. I. column density and temperature structure. Astrophysical Journal 736 (2) , 163. 10.1088/0004-637X/736/2/163

PDF - Published Version
Download (955kB) | Preview


We present Very Large Array observations of NH3 (1,1) and (2,2) in a sample of six infrared-dark clouds (IRDCs) with distances from 2 to 5 kpc. We find that ammonia serves as an excellent tracer of dense gas in IRDCs, showing no evidence of depletion, and the average abundance in these clouds is 8.1 × 10-7. Our sample consists of four IRDCs with 24 μm embedded protostars and two that appear starless. We calculate the kinetic temperature of the gas in IRDCs and find no significant difference between starless and star-forming IRDCs. We find that the bulk of the gas is between 8 and 13 K, indicating that any embedded or nearby stars or clusters do not affect the gas temperature dramatically. Though IRDCs have temperatures and volume densities on par with local star formation regions of lower mass, they consist of much more mass which induces very high internal pressures. In order for IRDCs to survive as coherent structures, the internal pressure must be balanced by a confining pressure provided by the high concentration of molecular clouds in the spiral arm in which they reside. The high molecular concentration and pressure are roughly consistent with gas dynamics of a bar galaxy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 0004-637X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 20 May 2011
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2017 22:04

Citation Data

Cited 52 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics