University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • 2001.02914v1

    Accepted author manuscript, 1.8 MB, PDF document

View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Jan 2020


In our local Galactic neighborhood, molecular clouds are best studied using a combination of dust measurements, to determine robust masses, sizes and internal structures of the clouds, and molecular-line observations to determine cloud kinematics and chemistry. We present here the first results of a program designed to extend such studies to nearby galaxies beyond the Magellanic Clouds. Utilizing the wideband upgrade of the Submillimeter Array (SMA) at 230 GHz we have obtained the first continuum detections of the thermal dust emission on sub-GMC scales ($\sim$ 15 pc) within the Andromeda galaxy (M31). These include the first resolved continuum detections of dust emission from individual GMCs beyond the Magellanic Clouds. Utilizing a powerful capability of the SMA, we simultaneously recorded CO(2-1) emission with identical $(u,\,v)$ coverage, astrometry and calibration, enabling the first measurements of the CO conversion factor, $\alpha_{\rm\,CO(2-1)}$, toward individual GMCs across an external galaxy. Our direct measurement yields an average CO--to--dust mass conversion factor of $\alpha^\prime_{\rm CO-dust} = 0.042\pm0.018$ $M_\odot$ (K km s$^{-1}$ pc$^2$)$^{-1}$ for the $J= 2-1$ transition. This value does not appear to vary with galactocentric radius. Assuming a constant gas-to-dust ratio of 136, the resulting $\alpha_{\rm CO}$ $=$ 5.7 $\pm$ 2.4 $M_\odot$ (K km s$^{-1}$ pc$^2$)$^{-1}$ for the 2-1 transition is in excellent agreement with that of Milky Way GMCs, given the uncertainties. Finally, using the same analysis techniques, we compare our results with observations of the local Orion molecular clouds, placed at the distance of M31 and simulated to appear as they would if observed by the SMA.


ApJ, in press

ID: 18760078