Cold Molecular Gas in Merger Remnants. II. the Properties of Dense Molecular Gas

Junko Ueda, Daisuke Iono, Min S. Yun, Tomonari Michiyama, Yoshimasa Watanabe, Ronald L. Snell, Daniel Rosa-González, Toshiki Saito, Olga Vega, Takuji Yamashita

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4 Citations (Scopus)


We present the 3 mm wavelength spectra of 28 local galaxy merger remnants obtained with the Large Millimeter Telescope. Sixteen molecular lines from 14 different molecular species and isotopologues were identified, and 21 out of 28 sources were detected in one or more molecular lines. On average, the line ratios of the dense gas tracers, such as HCN (1-0) and HCO+(1-0), to 13CO (1-0) are 3-4 times higher in ultra/luminous infrared galaxies (U/LIRGs) than in non-LIRGs in our sample. These high line ratios could be explained by the deficiency of 13CO and high dense gas fractions suggested by high HCN (1-0)/12CO (1-0) ratios. We calculate the IR-to-HCN (1-0) luminosity ratio as a proxy of the dense gas star formation efficiency. There is no correlation between the IR/HCN ratio and the IR luminosity, while the IR/HCN ratio varies from source to source ((1.1-6.5) 103 L /(K km s-1 pc2)). Compared with the control sample, we find that the average IR/HCN ratio of the merger remnants is higher by a factor of 2-3 than those of the early/mid-stage mergers and nonmerging LIRGs, and it is comparable to that of the late-stage mergers. The IR-to-12CO (1-0) ratios show a similar trend to the IR/HCN ratios. These results suggest that star formation efficiency is enhanced by the merging process and maintained at high levels even after the final coalescence. The dynamical interactions and mergers could change the star formation mode and continue to impact the star formation properties of the gas in the postmerger phase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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