Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

The ATLAS3D project - XI. Dense molecular gas properties of CO-luminous early-type galaxies

Abstract : Surveying 18 12CO-bright galaxies from the ATLAS3D early-type galaxy sample with the Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) 30-m telescope, we detect 13CO(1-0) and 13CO(2-1) in all 18 galaxies, HCN(1-0) in 12/18 and HCO+(1-0) in 10/18. We find that the line ratios 12CO(1-0)/13CO(1-0) and 12CO(1-0)/HCN(1-0) are clearly correlated with several galaxy properties: total stellar mass, luminosity-weighted mean stellar age, molecular-to-atomic gas ratio, dust temperature and dust morphology. We suggest that these correlations are primarily governed by the optical depth in the 12CO lines; interacting, accreting and/or starbursting early-type galaxies have more optically thin molecular gas while those with settled dust and gas discs host optically thick molecular gas. The ranges of the integrated line intensity ratios generally overlap with those of spirals, although we note some outliers in the 12CO(1-0)/13CO(1-0), 12CO(2-1)/13CO(2-1) and HCN/HCO+(1-0) ratios. In particular, three galaxies are found to have very low 12CO(1-0)/13CO(1-0) and 12CO(2-1)/13CO(2-1) ratios. Such low ratios may signal particularly stable molecular gas which creates stars less efficiently than 'normal' (i.e. below Schmidt-Kennicutt prediction), consistent with the low dust temperatures seen in these galaxies.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Bruno Savelli <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 3:59:45 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 11, 2020 - 2:17:37 AM


  • HAL Id : cea-00826951, version 1


Alison Crocker, Melanie Krips, Martin Bureau, Lisa M. Young, Timothy A. Davis, et al.. The ATLAS3D project - XI. Dense molecular gas properties of CO-luminous early-type galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2012, 421 (2), pp.1298-1314. ⟨cea-00826951⟩



Record views