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Mass Determinations from CO Observations

  • Phil Maloney
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 161)

Abstract

Determinations of molecular gas masses from CO observations are reviewed. The underlying basis for the method and the dependence of the ratio of I co /N(H2) on physical conditions are discussed. Estimates of the actual value for the conversion from CO integrated intensity to H2 column density are reviewed, as well as the evidence for variations. It is concluded that the standard conversion factor is probably accurate to a factor of 2 or so for the disks of normal, metal-rich spiral galaxies; however, use of this conversion can lead to substantial errors when applied to low-metallicity systems, such as irregular galaxies, and to molecular gas in extreme environments, such as galactic nuclei and ultra-luminous galaxies.

Keywords

Molecular Cloud Column Density Rotation Curve Spiral Galaxy Solar Neighborhood 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phil Maloney
    • 1
  1. 1.Sterrewacht LeidenRA LeidenThe Netherlands

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