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Mass, luminosity, and line width relations of Galactic molecular clouds
Solomon, P. M.; Rivolo, A. R.; Barrett, J.; Yahil, A.
AA(New York, State University, Stony Brook), AB(New York, State University, Stony Brook), AC(New York, State University, Stony Brook), AD(New York, State University, Stony Brook)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 319, Aug. 15, 1987, p. 730-741. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Mass Distribution, Mass To Light Ratios, Milky Way Galaxy, Molecular Clouds, Spectral Line Width, Astronomical Catalogs, Astronomical Models, Astronomical Spectroscopy, Carbon Monoxide, Virial Theorem
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The authors present measurements of the velocity line width, size, virial mass, and CO luminosity for 273 molecular clouds in the Galactic disk between longitudes of 8° and 90°. These are obtained from three-dimensional data in the Massachusetts-Stony Brook CO Galactic Plane Survey. It is shown that the molecular clouds are in or near virial equilibrium and are not confined by pressure equilibrium with a warm or hot phase of interstellar matter. The velocity line width is proportional to the 0.5 power of the size, sigmav ∝ S0.5. A tight relationship, over four orders of magnitude, is found between the cloud dynamical mass, as measured by the virial theorem, and the CO luminosity M ∝ (LCO)0.81. The cloud CO luminosity is LCO∝ sigmav5.

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