Alma imaging of HCN, CS, and dust in Arp 220 and NGC 6240

Nick Scoville, Kartik Sheth, Fabian Walter, Swarnima Manohar, Laura Zschaechner, Min Yun, Jin Koda, David Sanders, Lena Murchikova, Todd Thompson, Brant Robertson, Reinhard Genzel, Lars Hernquist, Linda Tacconi, Robert Brown, Desika Narayanan, Christopher C. Hayward, Joshua Barnes, Jeyhan Kartaltepe, Richard DaviesPaul Van Der Werf, Edward Fomalont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


We report ALMA Band 7 (350 GHz) imaging at 0.″4-0.″6 resolution and Band 9 (696 GHz) at ∼0.″25 resolution of the luminous IR galaxies Arp 220 and NGC 6240. The long wavelength dust continuum is used to estimate interstellar medium masses for Arp 220 east and west and NGC 6240 of 1.9, 4.2, and 1.6 × 109 M within radii of 69, 65, and 190 pc. The HCN emission was modeled to derive the emissivity distribution as a function of radius and the kinematics of each nuclear disk, yielding dynamical masses consistent with the masses and sizes derived from the dust emission. In Arp 220, the major dust and gas concentrations are at radii less than 50 pc in both counter-rotating nuclear disks. The thickness of the disks in Arp 220 estimated from the velocity dispersion and rotation velocities are 10-20 pc and the mean gas densities are nH2 ∼ 105 cm-3 at R < 50 pc. We develop an analytic treatment for the molecular excitation (including photon trapping), yielding volume densities for both the HCN and CS emission with nH2 ∼ 2 × 105 cm-3. The agreement of the mean density from the total mass and size with that required for excitation suggests that the volume is essentially filled with dense gas, i.e., it is not cloudy or like swiss cheese.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2015


  • Galaxies: individual (Arp 220, NGC 6240)
  • Galaxies: starburst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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