NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Molecular clouds in the Carina armResults from the first large-scale survey in the CO(J = 1 to 0) line of the Vela-Carina-Centaurus region of the Southern Milky Way are reported. The observations, made with the Columbia University 1.2 m millimeter-wave telescope at Cerro Tololo, were spaced every beamwidth (0.125 deg) in the range 270 deg is less than or = l is less than or = 300 deg and -1 deg less than or = b less then or = 1 deg, with latitude extensions to cover all Carina arm emission beyond absolute b = 1 deg. In a concurrent survey made with the same telescope, every half-degree in latitude and longitude was sampled. Both surveys had a spectral coverage of 330 km/s with a resolution of 1.3 km/s. The Carina arm is the dominant feature in the data. Its abrupt tangent at l is approx. = 280 deg and characteristic loop in the l,v diagram are unmistakable evidence for CO spiral structure. When the emission is integrated over velocity and latitude, the height of the step seen in the tangent direction suggests that the arm-interarm contrast is at least 13:1. Comparison of the CO and H I data shows close agreement between these two species in a segment of the arm lying outside the solar circle. The distribution of the molecular layer about the galactic plane in the outer Galaxy is determined. Between R = 10.5 and 12.5 kpc, the average CO midplane dips from z = -48 to -167 pc below the b = 0 deg plane, following a similar well-known warping of the H I layer. In the same range of radii the half-thickness of the CO layer increases from 112 to 182 pc. Between l = 270 deg and 300 deg, 27 molecular clouds are identified and cataloged along with heliocentric distances and masses. An additional 16 clouds beyond 300 deg are cataloged from an adjoining CO survey made with the same telescope. The average mass for the Carina arm clouds is 1.4x 10(6)M (solar), and the average intercloud spacing along the arm is 700 pc. Comparison of the distribution of the Carina arm clouds with that of similarly massive molecular clouds in the first and second quadrants strongly suggests that the Carina and Sagittarius arms form a single spiral arm approx. 40 kpc long wrapping two-thirds of the way around the Galaxy.
Document ID
19870001353
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Authors
Grabelsky, D. A. (Columbia Univ. New York., United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1986
Subject Category
ASTRONOMY
Report/Patent Number
NASA-TM-87798
NAS 1.15:87798
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

NameType 19870001353.pdf STI