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Giant molecular filaments in the Milky Way II. the fourth Galactic quadrant

Abreu-Vicente, J, Ragan, Sarah, Kainulainen, Jouni, Henning, Thomas, Beuther, Henrik and Johnston, Katharine 2016. Giant molecular filaments in the Milky Way II. the fourth Galactic quadrant. Astronomy and Astrophysics 590 , A131. 10.1051/0004-6361/201527674

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Context. Filamentary structures are common morphological features of the cold, molecular interstellar medium (ISM). Recent studies have discovered massive, hundred-parsec-scale filaments that may be connected to the large-scale, Galactic spiral arm structure. Addressing the nature of these giant molecular filaments (GMFs) requires a census of their occurrence and properties. Aims: We perform a systematic search of GMFs in the fourth Galactic quadrant and determine their basic physical properties. Methods: We identify GMFs based on their dust extinction signatures in the near- and mid-infrared and the velocity structure probed by 13CO line emission. We use the 13CO line emission and ATLASGAL dust emission data to estimate the total and dense gas masses of the GMFs. We combine our sample with an earlier sample from literature and study the Galactic environment of the GMFs. Results: We identify nine GMFs in the fourth Galactic quadrant: six in the Centaurus spiral arm and three in inter-arm regions. Combining this sample with an earlier study using the same identification criteria in the first Galactic quadrant results in 16 GMFs, nine of which are located within spiral arms. The GMFs have sizes of 80-160 pc and 13CO-derived masses between 5-90 × 104M⊙. Their dense gas mass fractions are between 1.5-37%, which is higher in the GMFs connected to spiral arms. We also compare the different GMF-identification methods and find that emission and extinction-based techniques overlap only partially, thereby highlighting the need to use both to achieve a complete census.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: EDP Sciences
ISSN: 0004-6361
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 16 March 2016
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2017 22:04

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