X-ray chemistry in the envelopes around young stellar objects
Institute of Astronomy, ETH-Zentrum, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Denison University, Granville, OH 43023, USA
3 Sterrewacht Leiden, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Accepted: 6 June 2005
We present chemical models of the envelope of a young stellar object (YSO) exposed to a central X-ray source. The models are applied to the massive star-forming region AFGL 2591 for different X-ray fluxes. Model results for this region show that the X-ray ionization rate with and without the effects of Compton scattering differs by only a few percent and the influence of Compton scattering on the chemistry is negligible. The total X-ray ionization rate is dominated by the “secondary” ionization rate of H2 resulting from fast electrons. The abundance profiles of several molecular and atomic species are shown to depend on the X-ray luminosity and on the distance from the source. The carbon, sulphur and nitrogen chemistries are discussed. It is found that He+ and H are enhanced and trigger a peculiar chemistry. Several molecular X-ray tracers are found and compared to tracers of the far ultraviolet (FUV) field. Like ultraviolet radiation fields, X-rays enhance simple hydrides, ions and radicals. In contrast to ultraviolet photons, X-rays can penetrate deep into the envelope and affect the chemistry even at large distances from the source. Whereas the FUV enhanced species cover a region of AU, the region enhanced by X-rays is 1000 AU. We find that N2O, HNO, SO, SO+, HCO+, CO+, OH+, N2H+, SH+ and HSO+ (among others) are more enhanced by X-rays than by FUV photons even for X-ray luminosities as low as erg s-1. CO2 abundances are reduced in the gas-phase through X-ray induced FUV photons. For temperatures K, H2O is destroyed by X-rays with luminosities erg s-1. Best-fit models for AFGL 2591 predict an X-ray luminosity erg s-1 with a hard X-ray spectrum K. This is the first time that the X-ray flux of a highly obscured source has been estimated by its envelope chemistry. Furthermore, we find . The chemistry of the bulk of the envelope mass is dominated by cosmic-ray induced reactions rather than by X-ray induced ionization for X-ray luminosities erg s-1. The calculated line intensities of HCO+ and HCS+ show that high-J lines are more affected than lower J lines by the presence of X-rays due to their higher critical densities, and that such differences are detectable even with large aperture single-dish telescopes. Future instruments such as Herschel-HIFI or SOFIA will be able to observe X-ray enhanced hydrides whereas the sensitivity and spatial resolution of ALMA is well-suited to measure the size and geometry of the region affected by X-rays.
Key words: stars: formation / stars: individual: AFGL 2591 / ISM: molecules / X-rays: ISM
© ESO, 2005