CO and CI maps of the starburst galaxy M82

White, G. J.; Ellison, B.; Claude, S.; Dent, W. R. F. and Matheson, D. N. (1994). CO and CI maps of the starburst galaxy M82. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 284 L23-L26.



The first map of an external galaxy in the 3P₁ - 3P0 fine-structure line of atomic carbon (CI) is presented towards the nucleus of the starbuster M82, and compared with the distinction of the CO J = 4 - 3 molecular emission. The CI traces features that are seen in lower transition CO maps, and shows that CI and the CO are well mixed and have similar spatial distributions. There are small differences between the CO J = 4 - 3 line and lower transition CO data towards the NE part of the molecular ring, where the emission is less prominent. The abundance ratio [CI]/[CO] across M82 is very high, with an average value ~ 0.5 across most of the nucleus, a factor at least 5 times that which is typical of dense molecular cloud cores seen in our own Galaxy. This means that on average, CI is overabundant towards M82. This result can be explained using models which provide enhancements to the CI abundance above normal Interstellar Medium values, a result of a greater cosmic ray flux in M82, or where there is substantial mixing of the gas.

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