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Title: Very large array H53α and H92α line observations of the central region of NGC 253
Authors: Rodriguez-Rico, C.A.
Goss, W.M.
Zhao, J.H.
Gomez, Y.
Anantharamaiah, K.R.
Keywords: Galaxies: Starburst
Issue Date: 20-Jun-2006
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press for the American Astronomical Society
Citation: Astrophysical Journal, Vol.644, p914-923
Abstract: We present new VLA observations toward NGC 253 of the recombination line H53α (43 GHz) at an angular resolution of 1.5"×1.0". The free-free emission at 43 GHz is estimated to be ~140 mJy, implying a star formation rate of 2 Msolar yr-1 in the nuclear region of this starburst galaxy. A reanalysis is made for previously reported H92α observations carried out with angular resolution of 1.5"×1.0" and 0.36"×0.21". Based on the line and continuum emission models used for the 1.5"×1.0" angular resolution observations, the RRLs H53α and H92α are tracers of the high-density (~105 cm-3) and low-density (~103 cm-3) thermally ionized gas components in NGC 253, respectively. The velocity fields observed in the H53α and H92α lines (1.5"×1.0") are consistent. The velocity gradient in the central ~18 pc of the NE component, as observed in both the H53α and H92α lines, is in the opposite direction to the velocity gradient determined from the CO observations. The enclosed virial mass, as deduced from the H53α velocity gradient over the NE component, is ~5×106 Msolar in the central ~18 pc region. The H92α line observations at high angular resolution (0.36"×0.21") reveal a larger velocity gradient, along a P.A.~-45deg on the NE component, of ~110 km s-1 arcsec-1. The dynamical mass estimated using the high angular resolution H92α data (~7×106 Msolar) supports the existence of an accreted massive object in the nuclear region of NGC 253.
Description: Restricted Access. Articles older than 2 years are open to all at the journal site (alternative location)
ISSN: 0004-637X
1538-4357 (online)
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Copyright: (2006) by the American Astronomical Society
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (A&A)

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