Journal Article

Understanding hydrogen recombination line observations with ALMA and EVLA

Thomas Peters, Steven N. Longmore and Cornelis P. Dullemond

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 425, issue 3, pages 2352-2368
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Understanding hydrogen recombination line observations with ALMA and EVLA

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Hydrogen recombination lines are one of the major diagnostics of Hii region physical properties and kinematics. In the near future, the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) will allow observers to study recombination lines in the radio and submillimetre regimes in unprecedented detail. In this paper, we study the properties of recombination lines, in particular at ALMA wavelengths. We find that such lines will lie in almost every wideband ALMA set-up and that the line emission will be equally detectable in all bands. Furthermore, we present our implementation of hydrogen recombination lines in the adaptive-mesh radiative transfer code radmc-3d. We particularly emphasize the importance of non-local thermodynamical equilibrium (non-LTE) modelling since non-LTE effects can drastically affect the line shapes and produce asymmetric line profiles from radially symmetric Hii regions. We demonstrate how these non-LTE effects can be used as a probe of systematic motions (infall and outflow) in the gas. We use radmc-3d to produce synthetic observations of model Hii regions and study the necessary conditions for observing such asymmetric line profiles with ALMA and EVLA.

Keywords: line: profiles; radiative transfer; methods: numerical; stars: formation; stars: massive; Hii regions

Journal Article.  10903 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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