The H₂O Southern Galactic Plane Survey: NH₃ (1,1) and (2,2) catalogues

Purcell, C.R., Longmore, S.N., Walsh, A.J., Whiting, M.T., Breen, S.L., Britton, T., Burton, M.G., Brooks, K.J., Cunningham, M.R., Green, J.A., Harvey-smith, L., Hindson, L., Hoare, M.G., Indermuehle, Balt, Jones, P.A., Lo, N., Lowe, V., Phillips, C.J., Thompson, M.A., Urquhart, J.S., Voronkov, M.A., and White, G.L. (2012) The H₂O Southern Galactic Plane Survey: NH₃ (1,1) and (2,2) catalogues. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 426 (3). pp. 1972-1991.

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The H₂O Southern Galactic Plane Survey (HOPS) has mapped a 100 degrees strip of the Galactic plane (-70° > l > 30°, |b| < 0°.5) using the 22 m Mopra antenna at 12 mm wavelengths. Observations were conducted in on-the-fly mode using the Mopra spectrometer (MOPS), targeting water masers, thermal molecular emission and radio-recombination lines. Foremost among the thermal lines are the 23?GHz transitions of NH₃ J,K = (1,1) and (2,2), which trace the densest parts of molecular clouds (n > 10⁴cm⁻³). In this paper, we present the NH₃ (1,1) and (2,2) data, which have a resolution of 2 arcmin and cover a velocity range of ± 200 km s⁻¹. The median sensitivity of the NH₃ data cubes is σT(mb) =0.20 ± 0.06 K. For the (1,1) transition, this sensitivity equates to a 3.2 kpc distance limit for detecting a 20 K, 400 M⊙ cloud at the 5σ level. Similar clouds of mass 5000 M⊙ would be detected as far as the Galactic Centre, while 30000 M⊙ clouds would be seen across the Galaxy. We have developed an automatic emission finding procedure based on the Australian Telescope National Facility (ATNF) duchamp software and have used it to create a new catalogue of 669 dense molecular clouds. The catalogue is 100 per cent complete at the 5s detection limit (T(mb) = 1.0 K). A preliminary analysis of the ensemble cloud properties suggests that the near-kinematic distances are favoured. The cloud positions are consistent with current models of the Galaxy containing a long bar. Combined with other Galactic plane surveys this new molecular-line data set constitutes a key tool for examining Galactic structure and evolution. Data cubes, spectra and catalogues are available to the community via the HOPS website.

Item ID: 24157
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2966
Keywords: surveys, stars early-type, star formation, ISM evolution, Galaxy structure, radio lines
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2012 05:29
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020104 Galactic Astronomy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 100%
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