A systematic survey for broadened CO emission toward Galactic supernova remnants

Charles D. Kilpatrick, John H. Bieging, George H. Rieke

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15 Scopus citations


We present molecular spectroscopy toward 50 Galactic supernova remnants (SNRs) taken at millimeter wavelengths in 12CO J = 2 - 1. These observations are part of a systematic survey for broad molecular line (BML) regions indicative of interactions with molecular clouds (MCs). We detected BML regions toward 19 SNRs, including 9 newly identified BML regions associated with SNRs (G08.3-0.0, G09.9-0.8, G11.2-0.3, G12.2+0.3, G18.6-0.2, G23.6+0.3, 4C-04.71, G29.6+0.1, and G32.4+0.1). The remaining 10 SNRs with BML regions confirm previous evidence for MC interaction in most cases (G16.7+0.1, Kes 75, 3C 391, Kes 79, 3C 396, 3C 397, W49B, Cas A, and IC 443), although we confirm that the BML region toward HB 3 is associated with the W3(OH) H ii region, not the SNR. Based on the systemic velocity of each MC, molecular line diagnostics, and cloud morphology, we test whether these detections represent SNR-MC interactions. One of the targets (G54.1+0.3) had previous indications of a BML region, but we did not detect broadened emission toward it. Although broadened 12CO J=2-1 line emission should be detectable toward virtually all SNR MC interactions, we find relatively few examples; therefore, the number of interactions is low. This result favors mechanisms other than supernova feedback as the basic trigger for star formation. In addition, we find no significant association between TeV gamma-ray sources and MC interactions, contrary to predictions that SNR MC interfaces are the primary venues for cosmic ray acceleration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number816
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • ISM: molecules
  • ISM: supernova remnants
  • shock waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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