ALMA Observations of Warm Dense Gas in NGC 1614—Breaking of the Star Formation Law in the Central Kiloparsec

January 2015 • 2015ApJ...799...11X

Authors • Xu, C. K. • Cao, C. • Lu, N. • Gao, Y. • Diaz-Santos, T. • Herrero-Illana, R. • Meijerink, R. • Privon, G. • Zhao, Y. -H. • Evans, A. S. • König, S. • Mazzarella, J. M. • Aalto, S. • Appleton, P. • Armus, L. • Charmandaris, V. • Chu, J. • Haan, S. • Inami, H. • Murphy, E. J. • Sanders, D. B. • Schulz, B. • van der Werf, P.

Abstract • We present ALMA Cycle-0 observations of the CO (6-5) line emission and of the 435 μm dust continuum emission in the central kiloparsec of NGC 1614, a local luminous infrared galaxy at a distance of 67.8 Mpc (1{\prime \prime }= 329 pc). The CO emission is well resolved by the ALMA beam (0.''26 × 0.''20) into a circumnuclear ring, with an integrated flux of f CO(6-5) = 898 (± 153) Jy km s-1, which is 63(± 12)% of the total CO (6-5) flux measured by Herschel. The molecular ring, located between 100 pc < r < 350 pc from the nucleus, looks clumpy and includes seven unresolved (or marginally resolved) knots with median velocity dispersion of ~40 km s-1. These knots are associated with strong star formation regions with ΣSFR ~ 100 M yr-1 kpc-2 and Σ Gas∼ 104 {M}_⊙ pc-2. The non-detections of the nucleus in both the CO (6-5) line emission and the 435 μm continuum rule out, with relatively high confidence, a Compton-thick active galactic nucleus in NGC 1614. Comparisons with radio continuum emission show a strong deviation from an expected local correlation between ΣGas and ΣSFR, indicating a breakdown of the Kennicutt-Schmidt law on the linear scale of ~100 pc.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.


IPAC Authors


Phil Appleton

Senior Scientist


Lee Armus

Senior Scientist

Joe Mazzarella

Senior Scientist