Dense circumnuclear molecular gas in starburst galaxies

C. E. Green*, M. R. Cunningham, J. A. Green, J. R. Dawson, P. A. Jones, A. R. López-Sánchez, L. Verdes-Montenegro, C. Henkel, W. A. Baan, S. Martín

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


We present results from a study of the dense circumnuclear molecular gas of starburst galaxies. The study aims to investigate the interplay between starbursts, active galactic nuclei and molecular gas.We characterize the dense gas traced by HCN, HCO+ and HNC and examine its kinematics in the circumnuclear regions of nine starburst galaxies observed with the Australia Telescope Compact Array. We detect HCN (1-0) and HCO+ (1-0) in seven of the nine galaxies and HNC (1-0) in four. Approximately 7 arcsec resolution maps of the circumnuclear molecular gas are presented. The velocity-integrated intensity ratios, HCO+ (1-0)/HCN (1-0) and HNC (1-0)/HCN (1-0), are calculated. Using these integrated intensity ratios and spatial intensity ratio maps, we identify photon-dominated regions (PDRs) in NGC 1097, NGC 1365 and NGC 1808. We find no galaxy which shows the PDR signature in only one part of the observed nuclear region.We also observe unusually strong HNC emission in NGC 5236, but it is not strong enough to be consistent with X-ray-dominated region chemistry. Rotation curves are derived for five of the galaxies and dynamical mass estimates of the inner regions of three of the galaxies are made.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberstw124
Pages (from-to)2470-2479
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 The Authors. First published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 457(3), 2470-2479. The original publication is available at, published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Active-galaxies
  • Formation-galaxies
  • Galaxies
  • Kinematics and dynamics-galaxies
  • Starburst-radio lines
  • Stars


Dive into the research topics of 'Dense circumnuclear molecular gas in starburst galaxies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this