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Astron. Astrophys. 359, 41-50 (2000)

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LWS spectroscopy of the luminous blue compact galaxy Haro 11 *

N. Bergvall 1, J. Masegosa 2, G. Östlin and J. Cernicharo 4

1 Astronomiska observatoriet, Box 515, 75120 Uppsala, Sweden
2 Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, CSIC, Apdo. 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
3 Stockholm Observatory, 133 36 Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
4 Instituto de Estructura de la Materia, CSIC, Serrano 121, 28006 Madrid, Spain

Received 24 August 1999 / Accepted 3 May 2000


We present the results of far infrared (FIR) spectroscopy of the luminous blue compact galaxy (BCG) Haro 11 (ESO 350-IG38) obtained with the Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS) on the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) in low resolution mode. This metal poor dwarf merger is an extremely hot IRAS source. We discuss the balance between dust and line cooling in the photodissociated regions (PDR), in particular the role of the [CII][FORMULA]158 µ line, and derive the basic properties of the PDR gas and estimates of the gas and dust masses. The mass of the PDRs, [FORMULA] 108 [FORMULA], is comparable to that of the ionized gas and exceeds the observed upper limit of the HI mass. The gas/dust mass ratio is low, indicating that the galaxy contains little cold dust. The low metallicity, the intense radiation field and the low column density of Haro 11 results in an extremely high [CII]/CO flux ratio and probably also a very high [FORMULA] (H2)/LCO conversion factor. Therefore CO is a poor indicator of the H2 mass in starburst dwarf galaxies.

After a reanalysis we confirm the claimed correlation (Malhotra et al. 1997) between the [CII]158 µ/FIR flux ratio and the IRAS f60/f100 dust temperature and reduce the scatter. We find that Haro 11 deviates from the relationship being brighter in [CII] than what would be expected, if the mechanism proposed by Malhotra et al. is dominant. As an alternative (or complementary) explanation we propose that the [CII]158 µ/FIR versus f60/f100 relationship is caused by an increasing optical depth with increasing IRAS temperature. The low metallicity of Haro 11 and its extreme starburst properties probably allows the medium to be thin despite its high f60/f100 ratio. This leaves room for a more optimistic view on the possibilities to detect massive starforming mergers at high redshifts, using the [CII] line.

Key words: galaxies: compact – galaxies: evolution – galaxies: individual: ESO 350-IG38 – galaxies: individual: Haro 11 – galaxies: starburst – infrared: galaxies

* Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) with the participation of ISAS and NASA.

Send offprint requests to: N. Bergvall (nils.bergvall@astro.uu.se)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 30, 2000