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The molecular cloud Sagittarius B2
Scoville, N. Z.; Solomon, P. M.; Penzias, A. A.
AA(Owens Valley Radio Observatory, Pasadena, Calif.), AB(New York, State University, Stony Brook, N.Y.), AC(Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., Holmdel, N.J.)
Astrophysical Journal, vol. 201, Oct. 15, 1975, pt. 1, p. 352-365. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Far Infrared Radiation, Interstellar Gas, Molecular Gases, Nebulae, Astronomical Maps, Carbon Monoxide, Infrared Astronomy, Molecular Spectra, Sagittarius Constellation
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The structure of the Sgr B2 molecular cloud has been studied by detailed and extensive mappings of the CO, (C-13)O, CS, and H2CO (2-cm) transitions. The cloud consists of a dense core at the OH maser position plus a very large envelope 45 pc across. Sagittarius B2 is one of the most massive objects in the Galaxy, containing about 3 million solar masses - an estimate arrived at independently from calculated (C-13)O column densities, from application of the virial theorem, and from far-infrared measurements. The molecular gas has an average temperature of approximately 20 K; that this is similar to the temperature of grains emitting far-infrared radiation is taken as evidence of near thermal equilibrium between dust grains and H2. The dynamics of the gas in the cloud is found to be dominated by large-scale systematic motions with velocity not a monotonic function of radius.

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