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Published November 1, 1977 | Published
Journal Article Open

Detection of submillimeter (870-µm) CO emission from the Orion molecular cloud


We report the first measurements of the interstellar J = 3 to J = 2 carbon monoxide line at a wavelength of 870 μm (346 GHz). Observations of the Orion molecular cloud were made with a heterodyne bolometer receiver at the prime focus of the Hale 5 m telescope. A major feature of the observed spectra is the great strength of the high-velocity wings of the line. The position and spatial extent of the region of high-velocity emission are determined and compared with shock wave models for CO and H_2 emission. It is concluded that the high-velocity gas is probably at or near the front face of the molecular cloud and has a kinetic temperature ≳ 100 K a mass ≳ 10 M_☉ and a density n_H, ≳ 5 X 10^5 cm^(-3).

Additional Information

© 1977 American Astronomical Society. Received 1977 July 25; accepted 1977 August 11. We wish to thank the staff of the Hale Observatories for their kind and efficient assistance; Ronald Miller and Gordon Forrester for technical assistance in preparation of the detector system; R. Linke for donating the harmonic generator diodes; J. Y. Kwan, B. Zuckerman, E. Becklin, S. Beckwith, I. Gatley, K. Matthews, and S. Persson for several helpful discussions; and P. G. Wannier and D. Ennis for assistance with the observations. This work is supported in part by National Aeronautics and Space Administration grant NGL 05-002-207.

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Published - 1977ApJ___217L_161P.pdf


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