Star formation efficiency along the radio jet in Centaurus A

Quentin Salomé, Philippe Salomé, Françoise Combes, Stephen Hamer, Ian Heywood

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Centaurus A is the most nearby powerful AGN, widely studied at all wavelengths. Molecular gas has been found in the halo at a distance of ~20 kpc from the galaxy centre, associated with HI shells. The molecular gas lies inside some IR and UV bright star-forming filaments that have recently been observed in the direction of the radio jets. These archival data show that there is dust and very weak star formation on scales of hundreds of parsecs. On top of analysing combined archival data, we have performed searches of HCN(1-0) and HCO+(1-0) emission with ATCA at the interaction of the northern filaments and the HI shell of Cen A. Measuring the dense gas is another indicator of star formation efficiency inside the filaments. However, we only derived upper limits of 1.6x10^3^2 at 3 sigma in the synthesised beam of 3.1". We also compared the CO masses with the SFR estimates in order to measure a star formation efficiency. Using a standard conversion factor leads to long depletion times (7 Gyr). We then corrected the mass estimates from metallicity effect by using gas-to-dust mass ratio as a proxy. From MUSE data, we estimated the metallicity spread (0.4-0.8 Zsun) in the filament, corresponding to gas-to-dust ratios of ~200-400. The CO/H2 conversion ratio is corrected for low metallicity by a factor between 1.4 and 3.2. Such a low-metallicity correction leads to even more massive clouds with higher depletion times (16 Gyr). We finally present ALMA observations that detect 3 unresolved CO(2-1) clumps of size
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA45
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date25 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

New version taking into account private conversations about v1; accepted to A&A


  • astro-ph.GA


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