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Title: FORMATION OF DENSE MOLECULAR GAS AND STARS AT THE CIRCUMNUCLEAR STARBURST RING IN THE BARRED GALAXY NGC 7552

We present millimeter molecular line complemented by optical observations, along with a reanalysis of archival centimeter H I and continuum data, to infer the global dynamics and determine where dense molecular gas and massive stars preferentially form in the circumnuclear starburst ring of the barred-spiral galaxy NGC 7552. We find diffuse molecular gas in a pair of dust lanes each running along the large-scale galactic bar, as well as in the circumnuclear starburst ring. We do not detect dense molecular gas in the dust lanes, but find such gas concentrated in two knots where the dust lanes make contact with the circumnuclear starburst ring. When convolved to the same angular resolution as the images in dense gas, the radio continuum emission of the circumnuclear starburst ring also exhibits two knots, each lying downstream of an adjacent knot in dense gas. The results agree qualitatively with the idea that massive stars form from dense gas at the contact points, where diffuse gas is channeled into the ring along the dust lanes, and later explode as supernovae downstream of the contact points. Based on the inferred rotation curve, however, the propagation time between the respective pairs of dense gas and centimeter continuummore » knots is about an order of magnitude shorter than the lifetimes of OB stars. We discuss possible reasons for this discrepancy, and conclude that either the initial mass function is top-heavy or massive stars in the ring do not form exclusively at the contact points where dense molecular gas is concentrated.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Department of Astronomical Science, Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Shonan Village, Hayama, Kanagawa 240-0193 (Japan)
  2. Department of Physics, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam (Hong Kong)
  3. Academia Sinica, Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA), P.O. Box 23-141, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China)
  4. Department of Astronomy, University of Illinois, 1002 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801 (United States)
  5. Australian Astronomical Observatory, P.O. Box 915, North Ryde, NSW 1670 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22126814
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 768; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DUSTS; EMISSION; GALAXIES; MASS; RINGS; STARS