Volume 419, Number 3, June I 2004
|Page(s)||949 - 964|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||07 May 2004|
Hyperfine structure in HCO and CO: Measurement, analysis, and consequences for the study of dark clouds
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, 50937 Köln, Germany
3 Lab. für Phys. Chemie, ETH-Hönggerberg, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Corresponding author: J. Schmid-Burgk, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 26 January 2004
The magnetic moment of the 13C nucleus is shown to provide a potentially useful tool for analysing quiescent cold molecular clouds. We report discovery of hyperfine structure in the lowest rotational transition of H13CO+. The doublet splitting in H13CO+, observed to be of width kHz or 0.133 km s-1, is confirmed by quantum chemical calculations which give a separation of 39.8 kHz and line strength ratio 3:1 when H and 13C nuclear spin-rotation and spin-spin coupling between both nuclei are taken into account. We improve the spectroscopic constants of H13CO+ and determine the hitherto uncertain frequencies of its low-J spectrum to better precision by analysing the dark cloud L 1512. Attention is drawn to potentially high optical depths (3 to 5 in L 1512) in quiescent clouds, and examples are given for the need to consider the (1–0) line's doublet nature when comparing to other molecular species, redirecting or reversing conclusions arrived at previously by single-component interpretations. We further confirm the hyperfine splitting in the (1–0) rotational transition of 13CO that had already been theoretically predicted, and measured in the laboratory, to be of width about 46 kHz or, again, 0.13 km s-1. By applying hyperfine analysis to the extensive data set of the first IRAM key-project we show that 13CO optical depths can as for H13CO+ be estimated in narrow linewidth regions without recourse to other transitions nor to assumptions on beam filling factors, and linewidth and velocity determinations can be improved. Thus, for the core of L 1512 we find an inverse proportionality between linewidth and column density, resp. linewidth and square root of optical depth, and a systematic inside-out increase of excitation temperature and of the 13CO:C18O abundance ratio. Overall motion toward the innermost region is suggested.
Key words: molecular data / line: profiles / radio lines: ISM / ISM: molecules / ISM: individual objects: L 1512, L 1544
© ESO, 2004
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