Molecules as tracers of galaxy evolution
Paper in proceeding, 2012

Studying the molecular phase of the interstellar medium in galaxies is fundamental for the understanding of the onset and evolution of star formation and the growth of supermassive black holes. We can use molecules as observational tools exploiting them as tracers of chemical, physical and dynamical conditions. In this short review, key molecules (e.g. HCN, HCO+, HNC, HC3N, CN, H3O+) in identifying the nature of buried activity and its evolution are discussed including some standard astrochemical scenarios. Furthermore, we can use IR excited molecular emission to probe the very inner regions of luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs) allowing us to get past the optically thick dust barrier of the compact obscured nuclei, e.g. in the dusty LIRG NGC4418. High resolution studies are often necessary to separate effects of excitation and radiative transport from those of chemistry - one example is absorption and effects of stimulated emission in the ULIRG Arp220. Finally, molecular gas in large scale galactic outflows is briefly discussed.

galaxies: evolution—galaxies: ISM—galaxies:active—- radio lines: ISM—- ISM: molecules —ISM:abundances —- astrochemistry


Susanne Aalto

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics

Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union

1743-9213 (ISSN) 1743-9221 (eISSN)

Vol. 8 5287 199-208

The XXVIIIth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)
Beijing, China,

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


Basic sciences

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