Vol 14, No 8

The comparison of H2CO (110 –111 ), C18O (1–0) and the continuum towards molecular clouds

Xin-Di Tang, Jarken Esimbek, Jian-Jun Zhou, Gang Wu, Daniel Okoh


Abstract We present large scale observations of C18O (1–0) towards four massive star forming regions: MON R2, S156, DR17/L906 and M17/M18. The transitions of H2CO (110 –111), C18O (1–0) and the 6 cm continuum are compared in these four regions. Our analysis of the observations and the results of the Non–LTE model shows that the brightness temperature of the formaldehyde absorption line is strongest in a background continuum temperature range of about 3–8 K. The excitation of the H2CO absorption line is affected by strong background continuum emission. From a comparison of H2CO and C18O maps, we found that the extent of H2CO absorption is broader than that of C18O emission in the four regions. Except for the DR17 region, the maximum in H2CO absorption is located at the same position as the C18O peak. A good correlation between intensities and widths of H2CO absorption and C18O emission lines indicates that the H2CO absorption line can trace the dense, warm regions of a molecular cloud. We find that N(H2CO) is well correlated with N(C18O) in the four regions and that the average ratio of column densities is 〈N(H2CO)/N(C18O)⟩ ~ 0.03.


Keywords ISM: clouds — molecules — stars: formation

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