OH survey along sightlines of Galactic Observations of Terahertz C+

Ningyu Tang, Di Li, Carl Heiles, Nannan Yue, J. R. Dawson, Paul F. Goldsmith, Marko Krčo, N. M. McClure-Griffiths, Shen Wang, Pei Zuo, Jorge L. Pineda, Jun Jie Wang

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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We have obtained OH spectra of four transitions in the ground state, at 1612, 1665, 1667, and 1720 MHz, toward 51 sightlines that were observed in the Herschel project Galactic Observations of Terahertz C+. The observations cover the longitude range of (32°, 64°) and (189°, 207°) in the northern Galactic plane. All of the diffuse OH emissions conform to the so-called "Sum Rule" of the four brightness temperatures, indicating optically thin emission conditions for OH from diffuse clouds in the Galactic plane. The column densities of the H i "halos" N(H i) surrounding molecular clouds increase monotonically with OH column density, N(OH), until saturating when cm-2 and cm-2, indicating the presence of molecular gas that cannot be traced by H i. Such a linear correlation, albeit weak, is suggestive of halos' contribution to the UV shielding required for molecular formation. About 18% of OH clouds have no associated CO emission (CO-dark) at a sensitivity of 0.07 K, but are associated with C+ emission. A weak correlation exists between C+ intensity and OH column density for CO-dark molecular clouds. These results imply that OH seems to be a better tracer of molecular gas than CO in diffuse molecular regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2017 The American Astronomical Society. First published in the Astrophysical journal, 839(1), 8, 2017, published by IOP Publishing. The original publication is available at http://www.doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/aa67e9. 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.


  • evolution
  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: molecules


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