106 research outputs found

    Radial Gas Flows in Colliding Galaxies: Connecting Simulations and Observations

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    (abridged) We investigate the detailed response of gas to the formation of transient and long-lived dynamical structures induced in the early stages of a disk-disk collision, and identify observational signatures of radial gas inflow through a detailed examination of the collision simulation of an equal mass bulge dominated galaxy. Stars respond to the tidal interaction by forming both transient arms and long lived m=2 bars, but the gas response is more transient, flowing directly toward the central regions within about 10^8 years after the initial collision. The rate of inflow declines when more than half of the total gas supply reaches the inner few kpc, where the gas forms a dense nuclear ring inside the stellar bar. The average gas inflow rate to the central 1.8 kpc is \~7 Msun/yr with a peak rate of 17 Msun/yr. The evolution of gas in a bulgeless progenitor galaxy is also discussed, and a possible link to the ``chain galaxy'' population observed at high redshifts is inferred. The evolution of the structural parameters (the asymmetry and concentration) of both stars and gas are studied in detail. Further, a new structural parameter (the compactness parameter K) that traces the evolution of the size scale of the gas relative to the stellar disk is introduced. Non-circular gas kinematics driven by the perturbation of the non-axisymmetric structure can produce distinct emission features in the "forbidden velocity quadrants'' of the position-velocity diagram (PVD). The dynamical mass calculated using the rotation curve derived from fitting the emission envelope of the PVD can determine the true mass to within 20% to 40%. The evolution of the molecular fraction $M_H2/M_(H2 + HI) and the compactness (K) are potential tracers to quantitatively assign the age of the interaction.Comment: 52 pages, 20 figures (9 jpgs), accepted for publication in ApJ Version with all figures at http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/~diono/ms.ps.g

    The ALMA2030 Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade

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    The Wideband Sensitivity Upgrade (WSU) is the top priority initiative for the ALMA2030 Development Roadmap. The WSU will initially double, and eventually quadruple, ALMA's system bandwidth and will deliver improved sensitivity by upgrading the receivers, digital electronics and correlator. The WSU will afford significant improvements for every future ALMA observation, whether it is for continuum or spectral line science. The continuum imaging speed will increase by a factor of 3 for the 2x bandwidth upgrade, plus any gains from improved receiver temperatures. The spectral line imaging speed will improve by a factor of 2-3. The improvements provided by the WSU will be most dramatic for high spectral resolution observations, where the instantaneous bandwidth correlated at 0.1-0.2 km/s resolution will increase by 1-2 orders of magnitude in most receiver bands. The improved sensitivity and spectral tuning grasp will open new avenues of exploration and enable more efficient observations. The impact will span the vast array of topics that embodies ALMA's motto "In Search of our Cosmic Origins". The WSU will greatly expand the chemical inventory of protoplanetary disks, which will have profound implications for how and when planets form. Observations of the interstellar medium will measure a variety of molecular species to build large samples of clouds, cores and protostars. The WSU will also enable efficient surveys of galaxies at high redshift. The first elements of the WSU will be available later this decade, including a wideband Band 2 receiver, a wideband upgrade to Band 6, new digitizers and digital transmission system, and a new correlator. Other upgrades are under study, including the newly developed ACA spectrometer and upgrades to Bands 9 and 10. The gains enabled by the WSU will further enhance ALMA as the world leading facility for millimeter/submillimeter astronomy. [Abridged]Comment: 59 pages, 36 figures; ALMA Memo 621 at https://library.nrao.edu/alma.shtm

    Stored in the archives: Uncovering the CN/CO intensity ratio with ALMA in nearby U/LIRGs

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    We present an archival Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) study of the CN N = 1 - 0 / CO J = 1 - 0 intensity ratio in nearby (z < 0.05) Ultra Luminous and Luminous Infrared Galaxies (U/LIRGs). We identify sixteen U/LIRGs that have been observed in both CN and CO lines at \sim 500 pc resolution based on sixteen different ALMA projects. We measure the (CN bright)/CO and (CN bright)/(CN faint) intensity ratios at an ensemble of molecular clouds scales (CN bright = CN N = 1 - 0, J = 3/2 - 1/2; CN faint = CN N = 1 - 0, J = 1/2 - 1/2 hyperfine groupings). Our global measured (CN bright)/CO ratios range from 0.02-0.15 in LIRGs and 0.08-0.17 in ULIRGs. We attribute the larger spread in LIRGs to the variety of galaxy environments included in our sample. Overall, we find that the (CN bright)/CO ratio is higher in nuclear regions, where the physical and excitation conditions favour increased CN emission relative to the disk regions. 10 out of 11 galaxies which contain well-documented active galactic nuclei show higher ratios in the nucleus compared to the disk. Finally, we measure the median resolved (CN bright)/(CN faint) ratio and use it to estimate the total integrated CN line optical depth in ULIRGs (τ\tau \sim 0.96) and LIRGs (τ\tau \sim 0.23). The optical depth difference is likely due to the higher molecular gas surface densities found in the more compact ULIRG systems.Comment: Accepted to MNRAS; 18 pages, 9 figure