Revealing the physical properties of molecular gas in orion with a large-scale survey in J = 2-1 lines of 12CO, 13CO, and C18O

Atsushi Nishimura, Kazuki Tokuda, Kimihiro Kimura, Kazuyuki Muraoka, Hiroyuki Maezawa, Hideo Ogawa, Kazuhito Dobashi, Tomomi Shimoikura, Akira Mizuno, Yasuo Fukui, Toshikazu Onishi

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115 Citations (Scopus)


We present fully sampled 3' resolution images of 12CO(J = 2-1), 13CO(J = 2-1), and C18O(J = 2-1) emission taken with the newly developed 1.85 m millimeter-submillimeter telescope over the entire area of the Orion A and B giant molecular clouds. The data were compared with J = 1-0 of the 12CO, 13CO, and C18O data taken with the Nagoya 4 m telescope and the NANTEN telescope at the same angular resolution to derive the spatial distributions of the physical properties of the molecular gas. We explore the large velocity gradient formalism to determine the gas density and temperature using line combinations of 12CO(J = 2-1), 13CO(J = 2-1), and 13CO(J = 1-0) assuming a uniform velocity gradient and abundance ratio of CO. The derived gas density is in the range of 500 to 5000 cm-3, and the derived gas temperature is mostly in the range of 20 to 50 K along the cloud ridge with a temperature gradient depending on the distance from the star forming region. We found that the high-temperature region at the cloud edge faces the H II region, indicating that the molecular gas is interacting with the stellar wind and radiation from the massive stars. In addition, we compared the derived gas properties with the young stellar objects distribution obtained with the Spitzer telescope to investigate the relationship between the gas properties and the star formation activity therein. We found that the gas density and star formation efficiency are positively well correlated, indicating that stars form effectively in the dense gas region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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