The AMIGA sample of isolated galaxies. IX. Molecular gas properties

U. Lisenfeld, D. Espada, L. Verdes-Montenegro, N. Kuno, S. Leon, J. Sabater, N. Sato, J. Sulentic, S. Verley, M. S. Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Aims: We characterize the molecular gas content (ISM cold phase) using CO emission of a redshift-limited subsample of isolated galaxies from the AMIGA (Analysis of the interstellar Medium of Isolated GAlaxies) project in order to provide a comparison sample for studies of galaxies in different environments. Methods: We present the 12CO(1-0) data for 273 AMIGA galaxies, most of them (n = 186) from our own observations with the IRAM 30 m and the FCRAO 14 m telescopes and the rest from the literature. We constructed a redshift-limited sample containing galaxies with 1500 km s-1 <v <5000 km s-1 and excluded objects with morphological evidence of possible interaction. This sample (n = 173) is the basis for our statistical analysis. It contains galaxies with molecular gas masses, MH2, in the range of ~108 - 1010 M&sun;. It is dominated, both in absolute number and in detection rate, by spiral galaxies of type T = 3-5 (Sb-Sc). Most galaxies were observed with a single pointing towards their centers. Therefore, we performed an extrapolation to the total molecular gas mass expected in the entire disk based on the assumption of an exponential distribution. We then studied the relationships between MH2 and other galactic properties (LB, D_25^2, LK, LFIR, and MHI). Results: We find correlations between MH2 and LB, D_25^2, LK, and LFIR. The tightest correlation of MH2 holds with LFIR and, for T = 3-5, with LK, and the poorest with D_25^2. The correlations with LFIR and LK are very close to linearity. The correlation with LB is nonlinear so that MH2/LB increases with LB. The molecular and the atomic gas masses of our sample show no strong correlation. We find a low mean value, log(MH2/MHI) = -0.7 (for T = 3-5), and a strong decrease in this ratio with morphological type. The molecular gas column density and the surface density of the star formation rate (the Kennicutt-Schmidt law) show a tight correlation with a rough unity slope. We compare the relations of MH2 with LB and LK found for AMIGA galaxies to samples of interacting galaxies from the literature and find an indication for an enhancement of the molecular gas in interacting galaxies of up to 0.2-0.3 dex. Full Tables 1, 4 and 5 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via is available in electronic form at
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011


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