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Massive accretion disks

Scoville, N. Z. (1999) Massive accretion disks. Astrophysics and Space Science, 266 (1-2). pp. 149-155. ISSN 0004-640X. doi:10.1023/a:1002662001277.

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Recent high resolution near infrared (HST-NICMOS) and mm-interferometric imaging have revealed dense gas and dust accretion disks in nearby ultra-luminous galactic nuclei. In the best studied ultraluminousIR galaxy, Arp 220, the 2μm imaging shows dust disks in both of the merging galactic nuclei and mm-CO line imaging indicates molecular gasmasses ∼ 10⁹M⊙ for each disk. The two gas disks in Arp 220 are counterrotating and their dynamical masses are ∼ 2×10⁹ M⊙, that is, only slightly largerthan the gas masses. These disks have radii ∼100 pc and thickness 10-50 pc. The high brightness temperatures of the CO lines indicatethat the gas in the disks has area filling factors ∼25-50% and mean densitiesof ≥ 10⁴ cm⁻³. Within these nuclear disks, the rate of massive star formation is undoubtedly prodigious and, given the high viscosity of the gas, there will also be high radial accretion rates, perhaps ≥ 10 M⊙ yr ⁻¹. If this inflow persists to very small radii, it is enough to feed even the highest luminosity AGNs.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access Paper
Scoville, N. Z.0000-0002-0438-3323
Additional Information:© 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers. It is a pleasure to acknowledge stimulating discussions with A. Baker, C. Norman and K. Sakamoto on this work and assistance with the manuscript from N. Candelin and Z. Turgel.
Subject Keywords:Dust; Star Formation; Brightness Temperature; Accretion Disk; Accretion Rate
Issue or Number:1-2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200512-132628581
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Official Citation:Scoville, N. Massive accretion disks. Astrophysics and Space Science 266, 149–155 (1999).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103147
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 May 2020 20:41
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:18

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