Volume 557, September 2013
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||11 September 2013|
The IRAM-30 m line survey of the Horsehead PDR
1 Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique, 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 Saint Martin d’Hères, France
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
2 LERMA, UMR 8112, CNRS and Observatoire de Paris, 61 avenue de l’Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
3 Centro de Astrobiología, CSIC-INTA, Carretera de Ajalvir, Km 4, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid, Spain
4 LUTH UMR 8102, CNRS and Observatoire de Paris, Place J. Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
5 UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274, 38041 Grenoble, France
Received: 2 January 2013
Accepted: 7 May 2013
Context. Complex (iso-)nitrile molecules, such as CH3CN and HC3N, are relatively easily detected in our Galaxy and in other galaxies.
Aims. We aim at constraining their chemistry through observations of two positions in the Horsehead edge: the photo-dissociation region (PDR) and the dense, cold, and UV-shielded core just behind it.
Methods. We systematically searched for lines of CH3CN, HC3N, C3N, and some of their isomers in our sensitive unbiased line survey at 3, 2, and 1 mm. We stacked the lines of C3N to improve the detectability of this species. We derived column densities and abundances through Bayesian analysis using a large velocity gradient radiative transfer model.
Results. We report the first clear detection of CH3NC at millimeter wavelength. We detected 17 lines of CH3CN at the PDR and 6 at the dense core position, and we resolved its hyperfine structure for 3 lines. We detected 4 lines of HC3N, and C3N is clearly detected at the PDR position. We computed new electron collisional rate coefficients for CH3CN, andwe found that including electron excitation reduces the derived column density by 40% at the PDR position, where the electron density is 1–5 cm-3. While CH3CN is 30 times more abundant in the PDR (2.5 × 10-10) than in the dense core (8 × 10-12), HC3N has similar abundance at both positions (8 × 10-12). The isomeric ratio CH3NC/CH3CN is 0.15 ± 0.02.
Conclusions. The significant amount of complex (iso-)nitrile molecule in the UV illuminated gas is puzzling as the photodissociation is expected to be efficient. This is all the more surprising in the case of CH3CN, which is 30 times more abundant in the PDR than in the dense core. In this case, pure gas phase chemistry cannot reproduce the amount of CH3CN observed in the UV-illuminated gas. We propose that CH3CN gas phase abundance is enhanced when ice mantles of grains are destroyed through photo-desorption or thermal-evaporation in PDRs, and through sputtering in shocks.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: clouds / ISM: molecules / ISM: individual objects: Horsehead / radiative transfer
Based on observations obtained with the IRAM-30 m telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany), and IGN (Spain).
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2013
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