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  SOFIA/FIFI-LS full-disk [C II] mapping and CO-dark molecular gas across the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6946

Bigiel, F., de Looze, I., Krabbe, A., Cormier, D., Barnes, A. T., Fischer, C., et al. (2020). SOFIA/FIFI-LS full-disk [C II] mapping and CO-dark molecular gas across the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6946. The Astrophysical Journal, 903(1): 30. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/abb677.

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Bigiel, F., Author
de Looze, I., Author
Krabbe, A., Author
Cormier, D., Author
Barnes, A. T., Author
Fischer, C., Author
Bolatto, A. D., Author
Bryant, A., Author
Colditz, S., Author
Geis, N.1, Author              
Herrera-Camus, R., Author
Iserlohe, C., Author
Klein, R., Author
Leroy, A. K., Author
Linz, H., Author
Looney, L. W., Author
Madden, S. C., Author
Poglitsch, A.1, Author              
Stutzki, J., Author
Vacca, W. D., Author
Affiliations:
1Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_159889              

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 Abstract: We present SOFIA/FIFI-LS observations of the [C ii] 158 μm cooling line across the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6946. We combine these with UV, IR, CO, and H i data to compare [C ii] emission to dust properties, star formation rate (SFR), H2, and H i at 560 pc scales via stacking by environment (spiral arms, interarm, and center), radial profiles, and individual, beam-sized measurements. We attribute 73% of the [C ii] luminosity to arms, and 19% and 8% to the center and interarm region, respectively. [C ii]/TIR, [C ii]/CO, and [C ii]/PAH radial profiles are largely constant, but rise at large radii (≳ 8 kpc) and drop in the center ("[C ii] deficit"). This increase at large radii and the observed decline with the 70 μm/100 μm dust color are likely driven by radiation field hardness. We find a near proportional [C ii]–SFR scaling relation for beam-sized regions, though the exact scaling depends on methodology. [C ii] also becomes increasingly luminous relative to CO at low SFR (interarm or large radii), likely indicating more efficient photodissociation of CO and emphasizing the importance of [C ii] as an H2 and SFR tracer in such regimes. Finally, based on the observed [C ii] and CO radial profiles and different models, we find α CO to increase with radius, in line with the observed metallicity gradient. The low α CO (galaxy average ≲ 2 M pc−2 (K km s−1)−1) and low [C ii]/CO ratios (~400 on average) imply little CO-dark gas across NGC 6946, in contrast to estimates in the Milky Way.

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 Dates: 2020-10-29
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/abb677
Other: LOCALID: 3284603
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Title: The Astrophysical Journal
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Bristol; Vienna : IOP Publishing; IAEA
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 903 (1) Sequence Number: 30 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0004-637X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215_3