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Carbon recombination lines as a diagnostic of photodissociation regionsWe have observed the C91 alpha radio recombination line toward the Orion H II region. This narrow (approximately 3-5 km per sec full width at half maximum (FWHM)) line is spatially very extended (approximately 8 arcmin or 1 pc). These charateristics compare well with the observed characteristics of the C II fine structure line at 158 microns. Thus, the C91 alpha line originates in the predominantly neutral photodissociation regions separating the H II region from the molecular cloud. We have developed theoretical models for the C II radio recombination lines from photodissociation regions. The results show that the I(C91 alpha)/I(C158) intensity ratio is a sensitive function of the temperature and density of the emitting gas. We have also extended theoretical models for photodissociation regions to include the C II recombination lines. Comparison with these models show that, in the central portion of the Orion region, the C91 alpha line originates in dense (10(exp 6) per cu cm), warm (500-1000 K) gas. Even at large projected distances (approximately 1 pc), the inferred density is still high (10(exp 5) per cu cm) and implies extremely high thermal pressures. As in the case of the (C II) 158 microns line, the large extent of the C91 alpha line shows that (FUV) photons can penetrate to large distances from the illuminating source. The decline of the intensity of the incident radiation field with distance from Theta(sup 1) C seems to be dominated by geometrical dilution, rather than dust extinction. Finally, we have used our models to calculate the intensity of the 9850 A recombination line of C II. The physical conditions inferred from this line are in good agreement with those determined from the radio recombination and the far-infrared fine-structure lines. We show that the ratio of the 9850 A to the C91 alpha lines is a very good probe of very high density clumps.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Natta, A.
(Osservatorio di Arcetri Firenze, Italy)
Walmsley, C. M.
(Max-Planck-Institut fuer Radioastronomie Bonn, Germany)
Tielens, A. G. G. M.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
June 10, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Astrophysical Journal, Part 1
Volume: 428
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-637X
Subject Category
Accession Number
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