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Molecular Gas in the Inner 100 Parces of M51
Astrophysical Journal (1998)
  • N Z Scoville, California Institute of Technology
  • Min S. Yun, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • L Armus, California Institute of Technology
  • H Ford, Johns Hopkins University
We report imaging of CO (2-1) emission in the nucleus of M51 at 1'' (47 pc) resolution. Molecular gas is found closely associated with the nuclear radio jet and the X-shaped dust absorption feature seen in the Hubble Space Telescope images. The CO emission lies along the side of the nuclear radio continuum "jet." The strongest molecular emission is not symmetric in either position or velocity with respect to the nucleus—the dominant feature is at redshifted velocities and peaks 1'' to the west of the radio/optical nucleus. The CO (2-1) emission has an integrated flux implying a molecular gas mass of 107 Msun for a standard Galactic giant molecular cloud CO-to-H2 conversion ratio, which is consistent with the total virial mass of the individual complexes. The redshifted CO emission is elongated with a deconvolved semimajor axis of 65 pc (1farcs38). Assuming the molecular gas moves in circular orbit about the nucleus (defined by the point radio source), we find a dynamical mass of 2 × 108 Msun at R≥47 pc with no correction for inclination. The molecular gas has sufficient density (≥105 cm-3) to collimate the radio jet and ionized outflow from the active galactic nucleus (AGN), and this gas may in fact be the reservoir of matter that supplies the AGN
  • galaxies: individual (M51),
  • ISM: molecules
Publication Date
January 14, 1998
Publisher Statement
Citation Information
N Z Scoville, Min S. Yun, L Armus and H Ford. "Molecular Gas in the Inner 100 Parces of M51" Astrophysical Journal Vol. 493 Iss. 2 (1998)
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