ATLASGAL-selected massive clumps in the inner Galaxy
IV. Millimeter hydrogen recombination lines from associated H II regions ⋆
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, Ingram Building, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NH, UK
Received: 21 September 2016
Accepted: 13 January 2017
Aims. Observations of millimeter wavelength radio recombination lines (mm-RRLs) are used to search for H ii regions in an unbiased way that is complementary to many of the more traditional methods previously used (e.g., radio continuum, far-infrared colors, maser emission). The mm-RRLs can be used to derive physical properties of H ii regions and to provide velocity information of ionized gas.
Methods. We carried out targeted mm-RRL observations (39 ≤ principal quantum number (n) ≤ 65 and Δn = 1, 2, 3, and 4, named Hnα, Hnβ, Hnγ, and Hnδ) using the IRAM 30 m and Mopra 22 m telescopes. In total, we observed 976 compact dust clumps selected from a catalog of ~10 000 sources identified by the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The sample was selected to ensure a representative mix of star-forming and quiescent clumps such that a variety of different evolutionary stages is represented. Approximately half of the clumps are mid-infrared quiet while the other half are mid-infrared bright.
Results. We detected Hnα mm-RRL emission toward 178 clumps; Hnβ, Hnγ, and Hnδ were also detected toward 65, 23, and 22 clumps, respectively. This is the largest sample of mm-RRLs detections published to date. Comparing the positions of these clumps with radio continuum surveys we identified compact radio counterparts for 134 clumps, confirming their association with known H ii regions. The nature of the other 44 detections is unclear, but 8 detections are thought to be potentially new H ii regions while the mm-RRL emission from the others may be due to contamination from nearby evolved H ii regions. Broad linewidths are seen toward nine clumps (linewidth > 40 km s-1) revealing significant turbulent motions within the ionized gas; in the past, such wide linewidths were found toward very compact and dense H ii regions. We find that the systemic velocity of the associated dense molecular gas, traced by H13CO+(1−0), is consistent with the mm-RRL velocities and confirms them as embedded H ii regions. We also find that the linewidth of the H13CO+(1−0) emission is significantly wider than those without mm-RRL detection, indicating a physical connection between the embedded H ii region and their natal environments. We also find a correlation between the integrated fluxes of the mm-RRLs and the 6 cm continuum flux densities of their radio counterparts (the correlation coefficient, ρ, is 0.70). By calculating the electron densities we find that the mm-RRL emission is associated with H ii regions with ne < 105 cm-3 and H ii region diameter >0.03 pc.
Conclusions. We detected mm-RRLs toward 178 clumps and identified eight new H ii region candidates. The broad mm-RRL from nine clumps may indicate that they arise in very young hyper-compact H ii regions. The mm-RRLs trace the radio continuum sources detected by high-resolution observations and their line parameters show associations with the embedded radio sources and their parental molecular clumps.
Key words: surveys / stars: massive / stars: formation / H II regions / ISM: general
Full Tables 3 and 6, spectra (Fig. 2 plus their fitted line parameters) and mid-infrared three-color composite images (Fig. 7) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/602/A37
© ESO, 2017