The redshift search receiver 3 mm wavelength spectra of 10 galaxies

Ronald L. Snell, Gopal Narayanan, Min S. Yun, Mark Heyer, Aeree Chung, William M. Irvine, Neal R. Erickson, Guilin Liu

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The 3 mm wavelength spectra of 10 galaxies have been obtained at the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory using a new, very broadband receiver and spectrometer, called the Redshift Search Receiver (RSR). The RSR has an instantaneous bandwidth of 37 GHz covering frequencies from 74 to 111 GHz and has a spectral resolution of 31MHz (∼ 100 km s-1). During tests of the RSR on the FCRAO 14m telescope the complete 3 mm spectra of the central regions of NGC253, Maffei 2, NGC1068, IC 342, M82, NGC3079, NGC3690, NGC4258, Arp 220, and NGC6240 were obtained.Within the wavelength band covered by the RSR, 20 spectral lines from 14 different atomic and molecular species were detected. Based on simultaneous fits to the spectrum of each galaxy, a number of key molecular line ratios are derived. A simple model which assumes the emission arises from an ensemble of Milky Way like Giant Molecular Cloud cores can adequately fit the observed line ratios using molecular abundances based on Galactic molecular cloud cores. Variations seen in some line ratios, such as 13CO/HCN and HCO+/HCN, can be explained if the mean density of the molecular gas varies from galaxy to galaxy. However, NGC3690, NGC4258, and NGC6240 show very large HCO+/HCN ratios and require significant abundance enhancement of HCO+ over HCN, possible due to the proximity to active galactic nucleus activity. Finally, the mass of dense molecular gas is estimated and we infer that 25%-85% of the total molecular gas in the central regions of these galaxies must have densities greater than 104 cm-3.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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