skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: C ii RADIATIVE COOLING OF THE GALATIC DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: INSIGHT INTO THE STAR FORMATION IN DAMPED Ly α SYSTEMS

Abstract

The far-infrared [C ii] 158 μ m fine structure transition is considered to be a dominant coolant in the interstellar medium (ISM). For this reason, under the assumption of a thermal steady state, it may be used to infer the heating rate and, in turn, the star formation rate (SFR) in local as well as in high redshift systems. In this work, radio and ultraviolet observations of the Galactic ISM are used to understand whether C ii is indeed a good tracer of the SFR. For a sample of high Galactic latitude sightlines, direct measurements of the temperature indicate the presence of C ii in both the cold and the warm phases of the diffuse interstellar gas. The cold gas fraction (∼10%–50% of the total neutral gas column density) is not negligible even at high Galactic latitude. It is shown that to correctly estimate the SFR, C ii cooling in both phases should hence be considered. The simple assumption, that the [C ii] line originates only from either the cold or the warm phase, significantly underpredicts or overpredicts the SFR, respectively. These results are particularly important in the context of Damped Ly α systems for which a similar method ismore » often used to estimate the SFR. The derived SFRs in such cases may not be reliable if the temperature of the gas under consideration is not constrained independently.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ;  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5]
  1. Department of Physics and Centre for Theoretical Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India)
  2. Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)
  3. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box O, Socorro, NM 87801 (United States)
  4. Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn (Germany)
  5. Department of Physics and Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22661375
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 834; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ATOMS; CARBON IONS; COOLANTS; DENSITY; FINE STRUCTURE; HEATING RATE; INTERSTELLAR SPACE; MILKY WAY; RADIATIVE COOLING; RED SHIFT; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION

Citation Formats

Roy, Nirupam, Frank, Stephan, Mathur, Smita, Carilli, Christopher L., Menten, Karl M., and Wolfe, Arthur M., E-mail: nroy@physics.iisc.ernet.in. C ii RADIATIVE COOLING OF THE GALATIC DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: INSIGHT INTO THE STAR FORMATION IN DAMPED Ly α SYSTEMS. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/171.
Roy, Nirupam, Frank, Stephan, Mathur, Smita, Carilli, Christopher L., Menten, Karl M., & Wolfe, Arthur M., E-mail: nroy@physics.iisc.ernet.in. C ii RADIATIVE COOLING OF THE GALATIC DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: INSIGHT INTO THE STAR FORMATION IN DAMPED Ly α SYSTEMS. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/171.
Roy, Nirupam, Frank, Stephan, Mathur, Smita, Carilli, Christopher L., Menten, Karl M., and Wolfe, Arthur M., E-mail: nroy@physics.iisc.ernet.in. Tue . "C ii RADIATIVE COOLING OF THE GALATIC DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: INSIGHT INTO THE STAR FORMATION IN DAMPED Ly α SYSTEMS". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/171.
@article{osti_22661375,
title = {C ii RADIATIVE COOLING OF THE GALATIC DIFFUSE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM: INSIGHT INTO THE STAR FORMATION IN DAMPED Ly α SYSTEMS},
author = {Roy, Nirupam and Frank, Stephan and Mathur, Smita and Carilli, Christopher L. and Menten, Karl M. and Wolfe, Arthur M., E-mail: nroy@physics.iisc.ernet.in},
abstractNote = {The far-infrared [C ii] 158 μ m fine structure transition is considered to be a dominant coolant in the interstellar medium (ISM). For this reason, under the assumption of a thermal steady state, it may be used to infer the heating rate and, in turn, the star formation rate (SFR) in local as well as in high redshift systems. In this work, radio and ultraviolet observations of the Galactic ISM are used to understand whether C ii is indeed a good tracer of the SFR. For a sample of high Galactic latitude sightlines, direct measurements of the temperature indicate the presence of C ii in both the cold and the warm phases of the diffuse interstellar gas. The cold gas fraction (∼10%–50% of the total neutral gas column density) is not negligible even at high Galactic latitude. It is shown that to correctly estimate the SFR, C ii cooling in both phases should hence be considered. The simple assumption, that the [C ii] line originates only from either the cold or the warm phase, significantly underpredicts or overpredicts the SFR, respectively. These results are particularly important in the context of Damped Ly α systems for which a similar method is often used to estimate the SFR. The derived SFRs in such cases may not be reliable if the temperature of the gas under consideration is not constrained independently.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/171},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 834,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 10 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Tue Jan 10 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}