The MALATANG Survey: Dense Gas and Star Formation from High Transition HCN and HCO+ maps of NGC253

Xue-Jian Jiang, Thomas R. Greve, Yu Gao, Zhi-Yu Zhang, Qinghua Tan, Richard de Grijs, Luis C. Ho, Michal J. Michalowski, Malcolm J. Currie, Christine D. Wilson, Elias Brinks, Yiping Ao, Yinghe Zhao, Jinhua He, Nanase Harada, Chentao Yang, Qian Jiao, Aeree Chung, Bumhyun Lee, Matthew W. L. SmithDaizhong Liu, Satoki Matsushita, Yong Shi, Masatoshi Imanishi, Mark G. Rawlings, Ming Zhu, David Eden, Timothy A. Davis, Xiaohu Li

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To study the high-transition dense-gas tracers and their relationships to the star formation of the inner $\sim$ 2 kpc circumnuclear region of NGC253, we present HCN $J=4-3$ and HCO$^+ J=4-3$ maps obtained with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). With the spatially resolved data, we compute the concentration indices $r_{90}/r_{50}$ for the different tracers. HCN and HCO$^+$ 4-3 emission features tend to be centrally concentrated, which is in contrast to the shallower distribution of CO 1-0 and the stellar component. The dense-gas fraction ($f_\text{dense}$, traced by the velocity-integrated-intensity ratios of HCN/CO and HCO$^+$/CO) and the ratio $R_\text{31}$ (CO 3-2/1-0) decline towards larger galactocentric distances, but increase with higher SFR surface density. The radial variation and the large scatter of $f_\text{dense}$ and $R_\text{31}$ imply distinct physical conditions in different regions of the galactic disc. The relationships of $f_\text{dense}$ versus $\Sigma_\text{stellar}$, and SFE$_\text{dense}$ versus $\Sigma_\text{stellar}$ are explored. SFE$_\text{dense}$ increases with higher $\Sigma_\text{stellar}$ in this galaxy, which is inconsistent with previous work that used HCN 1-0 data. This implies that existing stellar components might have different effects on the high-$J$ HCN and HCO$^+$ than their low-$J$ emission. We also find that SFE$_\text{dense}$ seems to be decreasing with higher $f_\text{dense}$, which is consistent with previous works, and it suggests that the ability of the dense gas to form stars diminishes when the average density of the gas increases. This is expected in a scenario where only the regions with high-density contrast collapse and form stars.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2020


  • astro-ph.GA


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