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Session 6 - The ISM & Molecular Clouds.
Display session, Monday, June 09
South Main Hall,

[6.12] Tracing the Mass of Dense Gas in Giant Molecular Clouds

T. A. D. Paglione, O. Yam (INAOE), M. H. Heyer (FCRAO), J. M. Jackson (Boston U.)

We present wide-field (l\times b=0\,\fdg42\times 0\,\fdg33) maps of the H^13CN J\!=\!1\!\rightarrow\!0 emission from three major cloud complexes in the Galactic center. Our goal was to determine column densities of dense gas using the ratio of integrated HCN and H^13CN intensities. We compared these values to those estimated from CO J\!=\!1\!\rightarrow\!0 emission, a common measure of molecular gas column density. We estimated H_2 volume densities with an LVG model that includes radiative trapping (which depends on the column density). We discuss which cloud regions show reasonable agreement between the two column density estimators, the implications for calculating densities, and the application of these results to single-dish studies of dense gas in external galaxies.

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