EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 422, Number 1, July IV 2004
Page(s) 159 - 169
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20047186


A&A 422, 159-169 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20047186

Resetting chemical clocks of hot cores based on S-bearing molecules

V. Wakelam1, P. Caselli2, C. Ceccarelli3, E. Herbst4 and A. Castets1

1  Observatoire de Bordeaux, BP 89, 33270 Floirac, France
2  INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
3  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble cedex 09, France
4  Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Astronomy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

(Received 2 February 2004 / Accepted 7 April 2004 )

Abstract
We report a theoretical study of sulphur chemistry, as applied to hot cores, where S-bearing molecular ratios have been previously proposed and used as chemical clocks. As in previous models, we follow the S-bearing molecular composition after the injection of grain mantle components into the gas phase. For this study, we developed a time-dependent chemical model with up-to-date reaction rate coefficients. We ran several cases, using different realistic chemical compositions for the grain mantles and for the gas prior to mantle evaporation. The modeling shows that S-bearing molecular ratios depend very critically on the gas temperature and density, the abundance of atomic oxygen, and, most importantly, on the form of sulphur injected in the gas phase, which is very poorly known. Consequently, ratios of S-bearing molecules cannot be easily used as chemical clocks. However, detailed observations and careful modeling of both physical and chemical structure can give hints on the source age and constrain the mantle composition (i.e. the form of sulphur in cold molecular clouds) and, thus, help to solve the mystery of the sulphur depletion. We analyse in detail the cases of Orion and IRAS 16293-2422. The comparison of the available observations with our model suggests that the majority of sulphur released from the mantles is mainly in, or soon converted into, atomic form.


Key words: ISM: abundances -- ISM: molecules -- stars: formation -- astrochemistry

Offprint request: V. Wakelam, wakelam@obs.u-bordeaux1.fr

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