991 research outputs found

    Far-Infrared detection of H2D+ toward Sgr B2

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    We report on the first far-IR detection of H2D+, using the Infrared Space Observatory, in the line of sight toward Sgr B2 in the galactic center. The transition at 126.853 um connecting the ground level of o-H2D+, 1_1,1 with the the 2_1,2 level at 113 K, is observed in absorption against the continuum emission of the cold dust of the source. The line is broad, with a total absorption covering 350 km s^-1, i.e., similar to that observed in the fundamental transitions of H2O, OH and CH at ~179, 119 and 149 um respectively. For the physical conditions of the different absorbing clouds the H2D+ column density ranges from 2 to 5x10^13 cm^-2, i.e., near an order of magnitude below the upper limits obtained from ground based submillimeter telescopes. The derived H2D+ abundance is of a few 10^-10, which agrees with chemical models predictions for a gas at a kinetic temperature of ~20K.Comment: Accepted in ApJ letters. Non edite

    The far-IR spectrum of Sagittarius B2 region: Extended molecular absorption, photodissociation and photoionization

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    We present large scale 9'x 27'(25 pc x 70 pc) far-IR observations around Sgr B2 using the Long-wavelength spectrometer (LWS) on board the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). The spectra are dominated by the strong continuum emission of dust, the widespread molecular absorption of light hydrides (OH, CH and H2O) and the fine structure lines of [NII], [NIII], [OIII], [CII] and [OI]. The molecular richness in the outer layers of Sgr B2 is probed by the ISO-LWS Fabry-Perot (35 km s^-1) detections towards Sgr B2(M), where more that 70 lines from 15 molecular and atomic species are observed at high signal to noise ratio.Comment: 46 pages, 10 figures, 5 tables, accepted in ApJ part I. (Figs. 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10 have been bitmapped to low resolution

    Gravitational collapse of the OMC-1 region

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    We have investigated the global dynamical state of the Integral Shaped Filament in the Orion A cloud using new N2_2H+^+ (1-0) large-scale, IRAM30m observations. Our analysis of its internal gas dynamics reveals the presence of accelerated motions towards the Orion Nebula Cluster, showing a characteristic blue-shifted profile centred at the position of the OMC-1 South region. The properties of these observed gas motions (profile, extension, and magnitude) are consistent with the expected accelerations for the gravitational collapse of the OMC-1 region and explain both the physical and kinematic structure of this cloud.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures; Accepted by A&

    Modelling the sulphur chemistry evolution in Orion KL

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    We study the sulphur chemistry evolution in the Orion KL along the gas and grain phases of the cloud. We investigate the processes that dominate the sulphur chemistry and to determine how physical and chemical parameters, such as the final star mass and the initial elemental abundances, influence the evolution of the hot core and of the surrounding outflows and shocked gas (the plateau). We independently modelled the chemistry evolution of both components using the time-dependent gas-grain model UCL_CHEM and considering two different phase calculations. Phase I starts with the collapsing cloud and the depletion of atoms and molecules onto grain surfaces. Phase II starts when a central protostar is formed and the evaporation from grains takes place. We show how the gas density, the gas depletion efficiency, the initial sulphur abundance, the shocked gas temperature and the different chemical paths on the grains leading to different reservoirs of sulphur on the mantles affect sulphur-bearing molecules at different evolutionary stages. We also compare the predicted column densities with those inferred from observations of the species SO, SO2, CS, OCS, H2S and H2CS. The models that reproduce the observations of the largest number of sulphur-bearing species are those with an initial sulphur abundance of 0.1 times the sulphur solar abundance and a density of at least n_H=5x10^6 cm^-3 in the shocked gas region. We conclude that most of the sulphur atoms were ionised during Phase I, consistent with an inhomogeneous and clumpy region where the UV interstellar radiation penetrates leading to sulphur ionisation. We also conclude that the main sulphur reservoir on the ice mantles was H2S. In addition, we deduce that a chemical transition currently takes place in the shocked gas, where SO and SO2 gas-phase formation reactions change from being dominated by O2 to being dominated by OH.Comment: 14 pages, 28 figures, 6 table

    A 5.5-year robotic optical monitoring of Q0957+561: substructure in a non-local cD galaxy

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    New light curves of the gravitationally lensed double quasar Q0957+561 in the gr bands during 2008-2010 include densely sampled, sharp intrinsic fluctuations with unprecedentedly high signal-to-noise ratio. These relatively violent flux variations allow us to very accurately measure the g-band and r-band time delays between the two quasar images A and B. Using correlation functions, we obtain that the two time delays are inconsistent with each other at the 2sigma level, with the r-band delay exceeding the 417-day delay in the g band by about 3 days. We also studied the long-term evolution of the delay-corrected flux ratio B/A from our homogeneous two-band monitoring with the Liverpool Robotic Telescope between 2005 and 2010. This ratio B/A slightly increases in periods of violent activity, which seems to be correlated with the flux level in these periods. The presence of the previously reported dense cloud within the cD lensing galaxy, along the line of sight to the A image, could account for the observed time delay and flux ratio anomalies.Comment: 8 pages, 6 figures, 4 tables, to appear in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    Complex organic molecules in strongly UV-irradiated gas

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    We investigate the presence of COMs in strongly UV-irradiated interstellar molecular gas. We have carried out a complete millimetre line survey using the IRAM30m telescope towards the edge of the Orion Bar photodissociation region (PDR), close to the H2 dissociation front, a position irradiated by a very intense far-UV (FUV) radiation field. These observations have been complemented with 8.5 arcsec resolution maps of the H2CO 5(1,5)-4(1,4) and C18O 3-2 emission at 0.9 mm. Despite being a harsh environment, we detect more than 250 lines from COMs and related precursors: H2CO, CH3OH, HCO, H2CCO, CH3CHO, H2CS, HCOOH, CH3CN, CH2NH, HNCO, H13-2CO, and HC3N (in decreasing order of abundance). For each species, the large number of detected lines allowed us to accurately constrain their rotational temperatures (Trot) and column densities (N). Owing to subthermal excitation and intricate spectroscopy of some COMs (symmetric- and asymmetric-top molecules such as CH3CN and H2CO, respectively), a correct determination of N and Trot requires building rotational population diagrams of their rotational ladders separately. We also provide accurate upper limit abundances for chemically related molecules that might have been expected, but are not conclusively detected at the edge of the PDR (HDCO, CH3O, CH3NC, CH3CCH, CH3OCH3, HCOOCH3, CH3CH2OH, CH3CH2CN, and CH2CHCN). A non-LTE LVG excitation analysis for molecules with known collisional rate coefficients, suggests that some COMs arise from different PDR layers but we cannot resolve them spatially. In particular, H2CO and CH3CN survive in the extended gas directly exposed to the strong FUV flux (Tk = 150-250 K and Td > 60 K), whereas CH3OH only arises from denser and cooler gas clumps in the more shielded PDR interior (Tk = 40-50 K). We find a HCO/H2CO/CH3OH = 1/5/3 abundance ratio. These ratios are different from those inferred in hot cores and shocks.Comment: 29 pages, 22 figures, 17 tables. Accepted for publication in A&A (abstract abridged

    The ionization fraction gradient across the Horsehead edge: An archetype for molecular clouds

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    The ionization fraction plays a key role in the chemistry and dynamics of molecular clouds. We study the H13CO+, DCO+ and HOC+ line emission towards the Horsehead, from the shielded core to the UV irradiated cloud edge, i.e., the Photodissociation Region (PDR), as a template to investigate the ionization fraction gradient in molecular clouds. We analyze a PdBI map of the H13CO+ J=1-0 line, complemented with IRAM-30m H13CO+ and DCO+ higher-J line maps and new HOC+ and CO+ observations. We compare self-consistently the observed spatial distribution and line intensities with detailed depth-dependent predictions of a PDR model coupled with a nonlocal radiative transfer calculation. The chemical network includes deuterated species, 13C fractionation reactions and HCO+/HOC+ isomerization reactions. The role of neutral and charged PAHs in the cloud chemistry and ionization balance is investigated. The detection of HOC+ reactive ion towards the Horsehead PDR proves the high ionization fraction of the outer UV irradiated regions, where we derive a low [HCO+]/[HOC+]~75-200 abundance ratio. In the absence of PAHs, we reproduce the observations with gas-phase metal abundances, [Fe+Mg+...], lower than 4x10(-9) (with respect to H) and a cosmic-rays ionization rate of zeta=(5+/-3)x10(-17) s(-1). The inclusion of PAHs modifies the ionization fraction gradient and increases the required metal abundance. The ionization fraction in the Horsehead edge follows a steep gradient, with a scale length of ~0.05 pc (or ~25''), from [e-]~10(-4) (or n_e ~ 1-5 cm(-3)) in the PDR to a few times ~10(-9) in the core. PAH^- anions play a role in the charge balance of the cold and neutral gas if substantial amounts of free PAHs are present ([PAH] >10(-8)).Comment: 13 pages, 7 figures, 6 tables. Accepted for publication in A&A (english not edited

    The IRAM-30m line survey of the Horsehead PDR: I. CF+ as a tracer of C+ and a measure of the Fluorine abundance

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    C+ is a key species in the interstellar medium but its 158 {\mu}m fine structure line cannot be observed from ground-based telescopes. Current models of fluorine chemistry predict that CF+ is the second most important fluorine reservoir, in regions where C+ is abundant. We detected the J = 1-0 and J = 2-1 rotational lines of CF+ with high signal-to-noise ratio towards the PDR and dense core positions in the Horsehead. Using a rotational diagram analysis, we derive a column density of N(CF+) = (1.5 - 2.0) \times 10^12 cm^-2. Because of the simple fluorine chemistry, the CF+ column density is proportional to the fluorine abundance. We thus infer the fluorine gas-phase abundance to be F/H = (0.6 - 1.5) \times 10^-8. Photochemical models indicate that CF+ is found in the layers where C+ is abundant. The emission arises in the UV illuminated skin of the nebula, tracing the outermost cloud layers. Indeed, CF+ and C+ are the only species observed to date in the Horsehead with a double peaked line profile caused by kinematics. We therefore propose that CF+, which is detectable from the ground, can be used as a proxy of the C+ layers.Comment: Accepted to A&A, 4 pages, 4 figures, 2 table
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