Molecular line mapping of the giant molecular cloud associated with RCW 106 - II. Column density and dynamical state of the clumps

T. Wong, E. F. Ladd, D. Brisbin, M. G. Burton, I. Bains, M. R. Cunningham, N. Lo, P. A. Jones, K. L. Thomas, S. N. Longmore, A. Vigan, B. Mookerjea, C. Kramer, Y. Fukui, A. Kawamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a fully sampled C18O (1-0) map towards the southern giant molecular cloud (GMC) associated with the H ii region RCW 106, and use it in combination with previous 13CO (1-0) mapping to estimate the gas column density as a function of position and velocity. We find localized regions of significant 13CO optical depth in the northern part of the cloud, with several of the high-opacity clouds in this region likely associated with a limb-brightened shell around the H ii region G333.6-0.2. Optical depth corrections broaden the distribution of column densities in the cloud, yielding a lognormal distribution as predicted by simulations of turbulence. Decomposing the 13CO and C18O data cubes into clumps, we find relatively weak correlations between size and linewidth, and a more sensitive dependence of luminosity on size than would be predicted by a constant average column density. The clump mass spectrum has a slope near -1.7, consistent with previous studies. The most massive clumps appear to have gravitational binding energies well in excess of virial equilibrium; we discuss possible explanations, which include magnetic support and neglect of time-varying surface terms in the virial theorem. Unlike molecular clouds as a whole, the clumps within the RCW 106 GMC, while elongated, appear to show random orientations with respect to the Galactic plane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1069-1084
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: molecules
  • ISM: structure
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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