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|Title:||Molecular depletion times and the CO-to-H<SUB>2</SUB> conversion factor in metal-poor galaxies||Authors:||HUNT, Leslie Kipp
Menten, K. M.
|Issue Date:||2015||Journal:||ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS||Number:||583||First Page:||A114||Abstract:||Tracing molecular hydrogen content with carbon monoxide in low-metallicity galaxies has been exceedingly difficult. Here we present a new effort, with IRAM 30-m observations of <SUP>12</SUP>CO(1-0) of a sample of 8 dwarf galaxies having oxygen abundances ranging from 12 + log(O/H) ~ 7.7 to 8.4. CO emission is detected in all galaxies, including the most metal-poor galaxy of our sample (0.1 Z<SUB>☉</SUB>); to our knowledge this is the largest number of <SUP>12</SUP>CO(1-0) detections ever reported for galaxies with 12 + log(O/H) ≲ 8 (0.2 Z<SUB>☉</SUB>) outside the Local Group. We calculate stellar masses, M<SUB>star</SUB>, and star-formation rates (SFRs), and analyze our results in conjunction with galaxy samples from the literature. Extending previous results for a correlation of the molecular gas depletion time, τ<SUB>dep</SUB>, with M<SUB>star</SUB> and specific SFR (sSFR), we find a variation in τ<SUB>dep</SUB> of a factor of 200 or more (from ≲50 Myr to ~10 Gyr) over a spread of ~10<SUP>3</SUP> in sSFR and M<SUB>star</SUB>. We exploit the variation of τ<SUB>dep</SUB> to constrain the CO-to-H<SUB>2</SUB> mass conversion factor α<SUB>CO</SUB> at low metallicity, and assuming a power-law variation find α<SUB>CO</SUB>∝Z/Z<SUB>☉</SUB><SUP>-2</SUP>, similar to results based on dust continuum measurements compared with gas mass. By including Hi measurements, we show that the fraction of total gas mass relative to the baryonic mass is higher in galaxies that are metal poor, of low mass, and with high sSFR. Finally, comparisons of the data with star-formation models of the molecular gas phases show that the models are generally quite successful, but at metallicities Z/Z<SUB>☉</SUB>≲ 0.2, there are some discrepancies. <P />Based on observations carried out with the IRAM 30 m; IRAM is supported by the INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany), and IGN (Spain).||Acknowledgments:||We are grateful to the IRAM staff, both in Granada and at Pico Veleta, for ably managing the logistics and the telescope/receiver operations. The referee’s comments were timely and insightful, and improved the manuscript. We thank the International Space Science Institute (Bern) for hospitality during the conception of this paper, and Amelie Saintonge and Mei-Ling Huang who kindly gave us their COLDGASS data in digital form. L.K.H. acknowledges support from PRIN-INAF 2012/13. We made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED).||URI:||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12386/23766||URL:||https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2015/11/aa26553-15/aa26553-15.html||ISSN:||0004-6361||DOI:||10.1051/0004-6361/201526553||Bibcode ADS:||2015A&A...583A.114H||Fulltext:||open|
|Appears in Collections:||1.01 Articoli in rivista|
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checked on Sep 27, 2020
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