EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 399, Number 2, February IV 2003
Page(s) 567 - 581
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021816
Published online 07 February 2003

A&A 399, 567-581 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021816

Sulphur-bearing species as chemical clocks for low mass protostars?

J. V. Buckle1, 2 and G. A. Fuller1

1  Department of Physics, UMIST, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK
2  Joint Astronomy Centre, 660 North A'ohoku Place University Park Hilo, HI 96720, USA
    e-mail: G.Fuller@umist.ac.uk

(Received 16 October 2001 / Accepted 5 December 2002)

We present observations of , SO and towards a sample of Class 0 and Class I sources. The abundances rule out its formation in the gas phase and we assume that it is released from grain mantles. Applying a model of the evolution of the sulphur chemistry first used in the study of hot cores, we show that this model can reproduce the results of our observations even for the relatively low temperatures and densities of these sources. We demonstrate that the chemical evolution of sulphur bearing species is a potentially valuable probe of chemical timescales in low mass star forming regions. Overall, the model indicates that Class I sources are at a later chemical evolutionary stage than their Class 0 counterparts, with an average difference in chemical age of at least $3\times 10^3$ years and an upper limit on the age of the Class I sources of a few times 105 years.

Key words: stars: formation -- radio lines: ISM -- ISM: abundances -- astrochemistry

Offprint request: J. V. Buckle, j.buckle@jach.hawaii.edu

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