Volume 369, Number 2, April II 2001
|Page(s)||605 - 610|
|Published online||15 April 2001|
Chemical constraints and microstructure in TMC-1 Core D
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Corresponding author: S. Viti, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 26 January 2001
Microstructure has been detected in Core D of TMC-1. Unless it is confined or replenished by an as yet unexamined mechanism, this microstructure will dissipate on the sound-crossing timescale, which is less than 105 yr. We reconsider the large number of models that have been proposed to explain chemical variations in TMC-1 in an effort to determine whether chemical constraints require the microstructure to be confined or replenished for times much longer than the sound crossing timescale. We explore here a chemical model which, though consistent with the assumption of an age of 6 104 yr and a number density of H nuclei of 2 105 cm-3, shows the richness in both molecular variety and abundances observed in Core D. In particular, the computed HC3N fractional abundance relative to H2 is 6 10-8, in agreement with the latest observations of Ohishi & Kaifu ([CITE]). Apparently, the chemistry of TMC-1 cannot be used to discard the possibility that TMC-1 Core D is young. This model has the following characteristics: the cosmic ray ionization rate is consistently larger than that usually assumed for dark regions; carbon atoms and hydrocarbons that strike grains are rapidly hydrogenated and promptly returned to the gas phase as methane; CO and N2 striking grains are immediately returned to the gas phase unaltered; other chemical species containing at least one atom more massive than helium colliding with dust grains remain frozen on their surfaces; and the material other than hydrogen was initially in atomic form. For such a model to be viable, collapse of Core D must have been triggered by a stellar wind-driven shock of several km s-1. This speed is low enough that magnetic moderation of the shock would have prevented the activation of a high temperature chemistry. The model results indicate that Core D would have fractional abundances of H2O and O2 at a core age of 6 104 yr consistent with the upper limits placed by very recent observations of Core D made with SWAS. The implications of this study are (1) that hydrogenation of atoms at the surfaces of dust grains may be a significant contributor to the chemistry of dark clouds; (2) that the special chemical nature of TMC-1 is due primarily to the exceptional youth of Core D.
Key words: ISM: clouds / ISM: TMC-1 / ISM: molecules
© ESO, 2001
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