Tuesday, June 11, 2013

1306.2211 (F. Costagliola et al.)

A high-resolution mm and cm study of the obscured LIRG NGC 4418 - A compact obscured nucleus fed by in-falling gas?    [PDF]

F. Costagliola, S. Aalto, K. Sakamoto, S. Martín, R. Beswick, S. Muller, H. -R. Klöckner
The aim of this study is to constrain the dynamics, structure and feeding of the compact nucleous of NGC4418, and to reveal the nature of the main hidden power source: starburst or AGN. We obtained high spatial resolution observations of NGC4418 at 1.4 and 5 GHz with MERLIN, and at 230 and 270 GHz with the SMA very extended configuration. We use the continuum morphology and flux density to estimate the size of the emitting region, the star formation rate and the dust temperature. Emission lines are used to study the kinematics through position-velocity diagrams. Molecular emission is studied with population diagrams and by fitting an LTE synthetic spectrum. We detect bright 1mm line emission from CO, HC3N, HNC and C34S, and 1.4 GHz absorption from HI. The CO 2-1 emission and HI absorption can be fit by two velocity components at 2090 and 2180 km s-1. We detect vibrationally excited HC3N and HNC, with Tvib 300K. Molecular excitation is consistent with a layered temperature structure, with three main components at 80, 160 and 300 K. For the hot component we estimate a source size of less than 5 pc. The nuclear molecular gas surface density of 1e4 Msun pc-2 is extremely high, and similar to that found in the ultra-luminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) Arp220. Our observations confirm the the presence of a molecular and atomic in-flow, previously suggested by Herschel observations, which is feeding the activity in the center of NGC4418. Molecular excitation confirms the presence of a very compact, hot dusty core. If a starburst is responsible for the observed IR flux, this has to be at least as extreme as the one in Arp220, with an age of 3-10 Myr and a star formation rate >10 Msun yr-1. If an AGN is present, it must be extremely Compton-thick.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.2211

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