We present a [C II] 158 μm map of the entire M51 (including M51b) grand design spiral galaxy observed with the Far Infrared Field-Imaging Line Spectrometer (FIFI-LS) instrument on board the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). We compare the [C II] emission with the total far-infrared (TIR) intensity and star formation rate (SFR) surface density maps (derived using Hα and 24 μm emission) to study the relationship between [C II] and the star formation activity in a variety of environments within M51 on scales of 16″ corresponding to ∼660 pc. We find that [C II] and the SFR surface density are well correlated in the central, spiral arm, and inter-arm regions. The correlation is in good agreement with that found for a larger sample of nearby galaxies at kpc scales. We find that the SFR, and [C II] and TIR luminosities in M51, are dominated by the extended emission in M51's disk. The companion galaxy M51b, however, shows a deficit of [C II] emission compared with the TIR emission and SFR surface density, with [C II] emission detected only in the SW part of this galaxy. The [C II] deficit is associated with an enhanced dust temperature in this galaxy. We interpret the faint [C II] emission in M51b to be a result of suppressed star formation in this galaxy, while the bright mid- and far-infrared emission, which drive the TIR and SFR values, are powered by other mechanisms. A similar but less-pronounced effect is seen at the location of the black hole in M51's center. The observed [C II] deficit in M51b suggests that this galaxy is a valuable laboratory to study the origin of the apparent [C II] deficit observed in ultra-luminous galaxies.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- December 2018
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 10 pages, 4 figures, Accepted for publication in Apj Letters