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The Far-Infrared Spectrum of ARP 220

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Infrared Space Observatory Long Wavelength Spectrometer grating observations of the ultraluminous infrared galaxy Arp 220 shows absorption in molecular lines of OH, H2O, CH, NH, and NH3, as well as in the O I 63 micron line and emission in the C II 158 micron line. We have modeled the continuum and the emissionabsorption of all observed features by means of a nonlocal radiative transfer code. The continuum from 25 to 1300 micron is modeled as a warm 106 K nuclear region that is optically thick in the far-infrared, attenuated by an extended region 2 that is heated mainly through absorption of nuclear infrared radiation. The molecular absorption in the nuclear region is characterized by high excitation due to the high-infrared radiation density. The OH column densities are high toward the nucleus and the extended region. The H2O column density is also high toward the nucleus and lower in the extended region. The column densities in a halo that accounts for the absorption in the lowest lying lines are similar to what are found in the diffuse clouds toward the star-forming regions in the Sgr B2 molecular cloud complex near the Galactic center. Most notable are the high column densities found for NH and NH3 toward the nucleus, whereas the NH2 column density is lower. A combination of photodissociation regions PDRs in the extended region and hot cores with enhanced H2O photodissociation and a possible shock contribution in the nuclei may explain the relative column densities of OH and H2O, whereas the nitrogen chemistry may be strongly affected by cosmic-ray ionization. The C II 158 m line is well reproduced by our models and its deficit relative to the C iifar-IR ratio in normal and starburst galaxies is suggested to be mainly a consequence of the dominant non-PDR component of far-infrared radiation, although our models alone cannot rule out extinction effects in the nuclei.

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  • Astrophysics
  • Astronomy
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy

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