EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 390, Number 1, July IV 2002
Page(s) 363 - 367
Section The solar system
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020677

A&A 390, 363-367 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020677

Multi-transitional observations of methanol in Comet Hale-Bopp (1995 O1)

M. Ikeda1, K. Kawaguchi1, S. Takakuwa1, A. Sakamoto1, K. Sunada1 and T. Fuse2

1  Nobeyama Radio Observatory, Nobeyama, Minamimaki, Minamisaku, Nagano 384-1305, Japan
2  Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan 650 North A'ohoku Place, Hilo, Hawaii 96720, USA

(Received 2 August 1999 / Accepted 26 April 2002 )

We have observed 9 rotational lines of methanol in comet Hale-Bopp (1995 O1) using the 45-m radio telescope at Nobeyama Radio Observatory in the frequency range 36-104 GHz. The observed transitions have upper state rotational energy levels of Eu = 7-159 K. Assuming the Haser model for density distribution, we estimated the excitation temperature and the production rate to be $T_\mathrm{ex} = 81 \pm 8$ K and Q(CH 3OH) = $(1.2~\pm~0.1)~\times~10^{29}$ molecule s -1, respectively. We also observed the HCN J=1-0 line at 88 GHz to derive the HCN production rate. We compared the production rate of CH 3OH with that of HCN and that of other molecules whose production rates have been determined previously. The abundance ratio Q(CH 3OH)/ Q(X) is estimated to be in the range 3-121, where X denotes HCN, HNC, H 2CO, CS and CH 3CN. When we compare these abundance ratios with those in interstellar clouds: the bipolar flow L1157 B1/B2, the star-forming region SgrB2(M) and the dark cloud TMC-1, they are close to the values in L1157 B1/B2 or in SgrB2(M). We found that the abundance ratio Q(CH 3OH)/ Q(H 2O) was similar to solid methanol ratio relative to water ice in interstellar medium. These results support the hypothesis that cometary nuclei are formed from dust grains outside of the primordial solar nebula so that the grain composition of the nebula remains in cometary nuclei.

Key words: comets: general -- comets: individual: C/1995 O1(Hale-Bopp) -- ISM: abundances

Offprint request: M. Ikeda, miho.ikeda@nao.ac.jp

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