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Article: Molecular gas in the powerful radio galaxies 3C 31 and 3C 264: Major or minor mergers?

TitleMolecular gas in the powerful radio galaxies 3C 31 and 3C 264: Major or minor mergers?
Authors
KeywordsGalaxies: Active
Galaxies: Elliptical And Lenticular, Cd
Galaxies: Evolution
Galaxies: Individual (3C 31, 3C 264)
Galaxies: Interactions
Issue Date2000
PublisherInstitute of Physics Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205
Citation
Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2000, v. 545 n. 2 PART 2, p. L93-L97 How to Cite?
AbstractWe report the detection of 12CO (1 → 0) and 12CO (2 → 1) emission from the central regions (≲5-10 kpc) of the two powerful radio galaxies 3C 31 and 3C 264. Their individual CO emission exhibits a double-horned line profile that is characteristic of an inclined rotating disk with a central depression at the rising part of its rotation curve. The inferred disk or ring distributions of the molecular gas are consistent with the observed presence of dust disks or rings detected optically in the cores of both galaxies. For a CO-to-H2 conversion factor similar to that of our Galaxy, the corresponding total mass in molecular hydrogen gas is (1.3 ± 0.0.6) × 109 M⊙ in 3C 31 and (0.31 ± 0.06) × 109M⊙ in 3C 264. Despite their relatively large molecular gas masses and other peculiarities, both 3C 31 and 3C 264, as well as many other powerful radio galaxies in the (revised) 3C catalog, are known to lie within the fundamental plane of normal elliptical galaxies. We reason that if their gas originates from the mergers of two gas-rich disk galaxies, as has been invoked to explain the molecular gas in other radio galaxies, then both 3C 31 and 3C 264 must have merged a long time (a few billion years or more) ago, but their remnant elliptical galaxies have only recently (last tens of millions of years or less) become active in radio. Instead, we argue that the cannibalism of gas-rich galaxies provides a simpler explanation for the origin of molecular gas in the elliptical hosts of radio galaxies. Given the transient nature of their observed disturbances, these galaxies probably become active in radio soon after the accretion event, when sufficient molecular gas agglomerates in their nuclei.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/174802
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 5.487
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 3.369
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLim, Jen_US
dc.contributor.authorLeon, Sen_US
dc.contributor.authorCombes, Fen_US
dc.contributor.authorDinhVTrungen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-11-26T08:47:32Z-
dc.date.available2012-11-26T08:47:32Z-
dc.date.issued2000en_US
dc.identifier.citationAstrophysical Journal Letters, 2000, v. 545 n. 2 PART 2, p. L93-L97en_US
dc.identifier.issn2041-8205en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/174802-
dc.description.abstractWe report the detection of 12CO (1 → 0) and 12CO (2 → 1) emission from the central regions (≲5-10 kpc) of the two powerful radio galaxies 3C 31 and 3C 264. Their individual CO emission exhibits a double-horned line profile that is characteristic of an inclined rotating disk with a central depression at the rising part of its rotation curve. The inferred disk or ring distributions of the molecular gas are consistent with the observed presence of dust disks or rings detected optically in the cores of both galaxies. For a CO-to-H2 conversion factor similar to that of our Galaxy, the corresponding total mass in molecular hydrogen gas is (1.3 ± 0.0.6) × 109 M⊙ in 3C 31 and (0.31 ± 0.06) × 109M⊙ in 3C 264. Despite their relatively large molecular gas masses and other peculiarities, both 3C 31 and 3C 264, as well as many other powerful radio galaxies in the (revised) 3C catalog, are known to lie within the fundamental plane of normal elliptical galaxies. We reason that if their gas originates from the mergers of two gas-rich disk galaxies, as has been invoked to explain the molecular gas in other radio galaxies, then both 3C 31 and 3C 264 must have merged a long time (a few billion years or more) ago, but their remnant elliptical galaxies have only recently (last tens of millions of years or less) become active in radio. Instead, we argue that the cannibalism of gas-rich galaxies provides a simpler explanation for the origin of molecular gas in the elliptical hosts of radio galaxies. Given the transient nature of their observed disturbances, these galaxies probably become active in radio soon after the accretion event, when sufficient molecular gas agglomerates in their nuclei.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherInstitute of Physics Publishing Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205en_US
dc.relation.ispartofAstrophysical Journal Lettersen_US
dc.subjectGalaxies: Activeen_US
dc.subjectGalaxies: Elliptical And Lenticular, Cden_US
dc.subjectGalaxies: Evolutionen_US
dc.subjectGalaxies: Individual (3C 31, 3C 264)en_US
dc.subjectGalaxies: Interactionsen_US
dc.titleMolecular gas in the powerful radio galaxies 3C 31 and 3C 264: Major or minor mergers?en_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailLim, J: jjlim@hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityLim, J=rp00745en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0034695124en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0034695124&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume545en_US
dc.identifier.issue2 PART 2en_US
dc.identifier.spageL93en_US
dc.identifier.epageL97en_US
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLim, J=7403453870en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLeon, S=7006526119en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridCombes, F=7004959652en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridDinhVTrung=6701469660en_US

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