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Title:
Thermal Balance in Dense Molecular Clouds: Radiative Cooling Rates and Emission-Line Luminosities
Authors:
Neufeld, David A.; Lepp, Stephen; Melnick, Gary J.
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal Supplement v.100, p.132 (ApJS Homepage)
Publication Date:
09/1995
Origin:
APJ; KNUDSEN
Astronomy Keywords:
ISM: CLOUDS, ISM: MOLECULES, MOLECULAR PROCESSES, RADIATIVE TRANSFER, RADIO LINES: ISM
DOI:
10.1086/192211
Bibliographic Code:
1995ApJS..100..132N

Abstract

We consider the radiative cooling of fully shielded molecular astrophysical gas over a wide range of temperatures (10K <= T <= 2500K) and H2 densities (l03 cm-3 <= n(H2) <= 1010 cm-3). Our model for the radiative cooling of molecular gas includes a detailed treatment of the interstellar chemistry that determines the abundances of important coolant molecules, and a detailed treatment of the excitation of the species H2, CO, H2O, HC1, O2, C, O, and their isotopic variants where important. We present results for the total radiative cooling rate and for the cooling rate due to individual coolant species, as a function of the gas temperature, density, and optical depth. We have also computed the individual millimeter, submillimeter, and far-infrared line strengths that contribute to the total radiative cooling rate, and we have obtained example spectra for the submillimeter emission expected from molecular cloud cores. Many of the important cooling lines will be detectable using the Infrared Space Observatory and the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite.

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