AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 28. Gas in Galaxies
Oral, Wednesday, January 6, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Room 8 (A,B,C)

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[28.01] A BIMA SONG Exploration of Interarm Molecular Gas in M51

M.D. Thornley (NRAO), S.N. Vogel (UMd), T.T. Helfer (NRAO), L. Blitz, D.C.-J. Bock (UC Berkeley), A. Harris (UMd), M.W. Regan (CIW, DTM), K. Sheth (UMd), T. Wong (UC Berkeley)

We present recent imaging of M51, taken as part of the BIMA CO Survey of Nearby spiral Galaxies (BIMA SONG). We address the properties of arm and interarm molecular gas in this grand design spiral, and the degree to which molecular gas is concentrated in the main spiral arms. Our 26-field mosaic, mapped over only three 8-hour tracks, highlights the imaging capabilities of the BIMA interferometer. The resulting map provides information over a 15 square arcminute field, at a resolution of 7" (325 pc) and 5 km s-1, and we detect CO over most of the region where CO has been detected by single-dish telescopes. Our map combines interferometer and single-dish CO data to account for the large-scale structure generally missed by interferometers, and we discuss the importance of this technique.

Furthermore, we compare our map with optical-infrared colors in the same region. The optical-IR colors effectively represent the dust distribution over the bright stellar disk and show the accuracy of the BIMA map as a tracer of gas and dust.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mthornle@nrao.edu

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