Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published 1975 | public
Book Section - Chapter

The galactic distribution of molecules (A CO survey)


The J = 1 → 0 emission of CO has been surveyed in the galactic plane between ℓ = -10° and +90° with a 1′ beam sampling every degree. Molecular clouds emitting in the CO line are plentiful over the inner region of the galaxy. Their greatest number occurs in the galactic nucleus and at a radius of 5.5 kpc — a distribution similar to radio H II regions but very different from that previously derived for atomic hydrogen. The total mass in molecular clouds is found to be 1 → 3 10^9 M_⊙, and each typically has 10^5 M_⊙, an average density of 500 cm^(−3), and a temperature of 7°K. These results suggest that most of the interstellar medium in the interior of the galaxy is molecular H_2.

Additional Information

© Springer-Verlag 1975. I describe the results of a joint investigation with P. M. Solomon, SUNY Stony Brook, which will also be published in the Astrophysical Journal 1975.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
January 14, 2024