Evidence for a chemically differentiated outflow in Mrk 231
Journal article, 2016

Aims. Our goal is to study the chemical composition of the outflows of active galactic nuclei and starburst galaxies. Methods. We obtained high-resolution interferometric observations of HCN and HCO+ J = 1 -> 0 and J = 2 -> 1 of the ultraluminous infrared galaxy Mrk 231 with the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer. We also use previously published observations of HCN and HCO+ J = 1 -> 0 and J = 3 -> 2, and HNC J = 1 -> 0 in the same source. Results. In the line wings of the HCN, HCO+, and HNC emission, we find that these three molecular species exhibit features at distinct velocities which differ between the species. The features are not consistent with emission lines of other molecular species. Through radiative transfer modelling of the HCN and HCO+ outflow emission we find an average abundance ratio X(HCN) = X(HCO+) greater than or similar to 1000. Assuming a clumpy outflow, modelling of the HCN and HCO+ emission produces strongly inconsistent outflow masses. Conclusions. Both the anti-correlated outflow features of HCN and HCO+ and the different outflow masses calculated from the radiative transfer models of the HCN and HCO+ emission suggest that the outflow is chemically differentiated. The separation between HCN and HCO+ could be an indicator of shock fronts present in the outflow, since the HCN/HCO+ ratio is expected to be elevated in shocked regions. Our result shows that studies of the chemistry in large-scale galactic outflows can be used to better understand the physical properties of these outflows and their effects on the interstellar medium in the galaxy.

star-formation

starburst galaxy

relativistic jets

herschel-pacs

galaxies: active

ISM: jets and

co observations

dense molecular gas

quasars: general

galaxies: evolution

driven outflow

galaxies: individual: Mrk 231

galaxy markarian 231

vibrationally excited hcn

feedback

Author

Johan Lindberg

Astronomy and Plasmaphysics

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Susanne Aalto

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics

Sebastien Muller

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Ivan Marti-Vidal

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Niklas Falstad

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics

Francesco Costagliola

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics

C. Henkel

King Abdulaziz University

Max Planck Institute

P. van der Werf

Leiden University

S. G. Burillo

Spanish National Observatory (OAN)

E. Gonzalez-Alfonso

University of Alcalá

Astronomy and Astrophysics

0004-6361 (ISSN) 1432-0746 (eISSN)

Vol. 587 A15

Subject Categories

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Roots

Basic sciences

DOI

10.1051/0004-6361/201527457

More information

Latest update

11/20/2018