Context. The combined use of carbon radio recombination lines (CRRLs) and the 158μm-[CII] line is a powerful tool for the study of the energetics and physical conditions (e.g., temperature and density) of photodissociation regions (PDRs). However, there are few observational studies that exploit this synergy.
Aims: Here we explore the relation between CRRLs and the 158μm-[CII] line in light of new observations and models.
Methods: We present new and existing observations of CRRLs in the frequency range 0.15-230 GHz with ALMA, VLA, the GBT, Effelsberg 100m, and LOFAR towards Orion A (M 42). We complement these observations with SOFIA observations of the 158μm-[CII] line. We studied two PDRs: the foreground atomic gas, known as the Veil, and the dense PDR between the HII region and the background molecular cloud.
Results: In the Veil we are able to determine the gas temperature and electron density, which we use to measure the ionization parameter and the photoelectric heating efficiency. In the dense PDR, we are able to identify a layered PDR structure at the surface of the molecular cloud to the south of the Trapezium cluster. There we find that the radio lines trace the colder portion of the ionized carbon layer, the C+/C/CO interface. By modeling the emission of the 158μm-[CII] line and CRRLs as arising from a PDR we derive a thermal pressure >5 × 107 K cm-3 and a radiation field G0 ≈ 105 close to the Trapezium.
Conclusions: This work provides additional observational support for the use of CRRLs and the 158μm-[CII] line as complementary tools to study dense and diffuse PDRs, and highlights the usefulness of CRRLs as probes of the C+/C/CO interface.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- June 2019
- photon-dominated region;
- ISM: clouds;
- ISM: individual objects: Orion A;
- radio lines: ISM;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 18 pages, 16 figures, accepted for publication in A&