Volume 563, March 2014
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||20 March 2014|
Ionization toward the high-mass star-forming region NGC 6334 I⋆
UJF-Grenoble 1/CNRS-INSU, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de
Grenoble (IPAG) UMR 5274, 38041
2 University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, Physics Department, Box 23343, UPR station, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA
3 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
4 Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri - INAF, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
5 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
6 I. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
Accepted: 24 January 2014
Context. Ionization plays a central role in the gas-phase chemistry of molecular clouds. Since ions are coupled with magnetic fields, which can in turn counteract gravitational collapse, it is of paramount importance to measure their abundance in star-forming regions.
Aims. We use spectral line observations of the high-mass star-forming region NGC 6334 I to derive the abundance of two of the most abundant molecular ions, HCO+ and N2H+, and consequently, the cosmic ray ionization rate. In addition, the line profiles provide information about the kinematics of this region.
Methods. We present high-resolution spectral line observations conducted with the HIFI instrument on board the Herschel Space Observatory of the rotational transitions with Jup ≥ 5 of the molecular species C17O, C18O, HCO+, H13CO+, and N2H+.
Results. The HCO+ and N2H+ line profiles display a redshifted asymmetry consistent with a region of expanding gas. We identify two emission components in the spectra, each with a different excitation, associated with the envelope of NGC 6334 I. The physical parameters obtained for the envelope are in agreement with previous models of the radial structure of NGC 6334 I based on submillimeter continuum observations. Based on our new Herschel/HIFI observations, combined with the predictions from a chemical model, we derive a cosmic ray ionization rate that is an order of magnitude higher than the canonical value of 10-17 s-1.
Conclusions. We find evidence of an expansion of the envelope surrounding the hot core of NGC 6334 I, which is mainly driven by thermal pressure from the hot ionized gas in the region. The ionization rate seems to be dominated by cosmic rays originating from outside the source, although X-ray emission from the NGC 6334 I core could contribute to the ionization in the inner part of the envelope.
Key words: stars: formation / ISM: clouds / ISM: molecules / cosmic rays / ISM: abundances
© ESO, 2014
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.