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Upper limits to the water abundance in starburst galaxies
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2007 (English)In: Astronomy & Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, Vol. 469, 121-124 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims.We have searched for emission from the 557 GHz ortho-water line in the interstellar medium of six nearby starburst galaxies. Methods: We used the Odin satellite to observe the 110{-}101 transition of o-H2O in the galaxies NGC 253, IC 342, M 82, NGC 4258, CenA, and M 51. None of the galaxies in our sample was detected. Results: We derive three sigma upper limits to the H2O abundance relative to H2 ranging from 2×10-9 to 1×10-8. The best of these upper limits are comparable to the measured abundance of H2O in the Galactic star forming region W3. However, if only 10% of the molecular gas is in very dense cores, then the water abundance limits in the cores themselves would be larger by a factor of 10 i.e. 2×10-8 to 1×10-7. Conclusions: These observations suggest that detections of H2O emission in galaxies with the upcoming Herschel Space Observatory are likely to require on-source integration times of an hour or more except in the very brightest extragalactic targets such as M 82 and NGC 253.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 469, 121-124 p.
Keyword [en]
galaxies: starburst, galaxies: general, ISM: molecules, astrochemistry
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-17299DOI: doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20066621OAI: diva2:183820
Available from: 2007-10-12 Created: 2007-10-12 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Sandqvist, Aage
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Department of Astronomy
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

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