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Title: Star formation relations and CO spectral line energy distributions across the J-ladder and redshift

We present FIR [50-300 μm]–CO luminosity relations (i.e., log L{sub FIR}=αlog L{sub CO}{sup ′}+β) for the full CO rotational ladder from J = 1-0 up to J = 13-12 for a sample of 62 local (z ≤ 0.1) (Ultra) Luminous Infrared Galaxies (LIRGs; L {sub IR[8-1000} {sub μm]} > 10{sup 11} L {sub ☉}) using data from Herschel SPIRE-FTS and ground-based telescopes. We extend our sample to high redshifts (z > 1) by including 35 submillimeter selected dusty star forming galaxies from the literature with robust CO observations, and sufficiently well-sampled FIR/submillimeter spectral energy distributions (SEDs), so that accurate FIR luminosities can be determined. The addition of luminous starbursts at high redshifts enlarge the range of the FIR–CO luminosity relations toward the high-IR-luminosity end, while also significantly increasing the small amount of mid-J/high-J CO line data (J = 5-4 and higher) that was available prior to Herschel. This new data set (both in terms of IR luminosity and J-ladder) reveals linear FIR–CO luminosity relations (i.e., α ≅ 1) for J = 1-0 up to J = 5-4, with a nearly constant normalization (β ∼ 2). In the simplest physical scenario, this is expected from the (also) linear FIR–(molecular line) relationsmore » recently found for the dense gas tracer lines (HCN and CS), as long as the dense gas mass fraction does not vary strongly within our (merger/starburst)-dominated sample. However, from J = 6-5 and up to the J = 13-12 transition, we find an increasingly sublinear slope and higher normalization constant with increasing J. We argue that these are caused by a warm (∼100 K) and dense (>10{sup 4} cm{sup –3}) gas component whose thermal state is unlikely to be maintained by star-formation-powered far-UV radiation fields (and thus is no longer directly tied to the star formation rate). We suggest that mechanical heating (e.g., supernova-driven turbulence and shocks), and not cosmic rays, is the more likely source of energy for this component. The global CO spectral line energy distributions, which remain highly excited from J = 6-5 up to J = 13-12, are found to be a generic feature of the (U)LIRGs in our sample, and further support the presence of this gas component.« less
 [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [5] ;  [6] ; ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14] ;  [15] ;
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT (United Kingdom)
  2. Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, GR-15236 Penteli (Greece)
  3. Max-Planck-Institut fur Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn (Germany)
  4. UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ (United Kingdom)
  5. Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, NL-2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)
  6. Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Observatory, 43994 Onsala (Sweden)
  7. Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, MS 220-6, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  8. Astronomy Department, University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States)
  9. Naval Research Laboratory, Remote Sensing Division, 4555 Overlook Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20375 (United States)
  10. Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 West Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008 (China)
  11. Universidad de Alcala de Henares, Departamento de Fśica, Campus Universitario, E-28871 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid (Spain)
  12. Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)
  13. Institute for Space Imaging Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4 (Canada)
  14. Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  15. Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 794; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States