EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 376, Number 1, September II 2001
Page(s) 254 - 270
Section Diffuse matter in space
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010936
Published online 15 September 2001

A&A 376, 254-270 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010936

Ice absorption features in the 5-8 $\mu$m region toward embedded protostars

J. V. Keane1, A. G. G. M. Tielens1, 2, A. C. A. Boogert3, W. A. Schutte4 and D. C. B. Whittet5

1  Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
2  SRON, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
3  CalTech, Mail code 320-47, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
4  Leiden Observatory, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
5  Department of Physics, Applied Physics & Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180, USA

(Received 23 December 1999 / Accepted 27 June 2001)

We have obtained 5-8 ${\rm\mu m }$ spectra towards 10 embedded protostars using the Short Wavelength Spectrometer on board the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO-SWS) with the aim of studying the composition of interstellar ices. The spectra are dominated by absorption bands at 6.0 ${\rm\mu m }$ and 6.85 $\mu$m. The observed peak positions, widths and relative intensities of these bands vary dramatically along the different lines of sight. On the basis of comparison with laboratory spectra, the bulk of the 6.0 ${\rm\mu m }$ absorption band is assigned to amorphous H2O ice. Additional absorption, in this band, is seen toward 5 sources on the short wavelength wing, near 5.8 $\mu$m, and the long wavelength side near 6.2 $\mu$m. We attribute the short wavelength absorption to a combination of formic acid (HCOOH) and formaldehyde (H2CO), while the long wavelength absorption has been assigned to the C-C stretching mode of aromatic structures. From an analysis of the 6.85 ${\rm\mu m }$ band, we conclude that this band is composed of two components: a volatile component centered near 6.75 ${\rm\mu m }$ and a more refractory component at 6.95 $\mu$m. From a comparison with various temperature tracers of the thermal history of interstellar ices, we conclude that the two 6.85 ${\rm\mu m }$ components are related through thermal processing. We explore several possible carriers of the 6.85 ${\rm\mu m }$ absorption band, but no satisfactory identification can be made at present. Finally, we discuss the possible implications for the origin and evolution of interstellar ices that arise from these new results.

Key words: ISM: dust, extinction -- ISM: molecules -- ISM: abundances -- infrared: ISM -- stars: formation

Offprint request: J. V. Keane, jacquie@astro.rug.nl

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© ESO 2001

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