Complex organic molecules in comets C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy): detection of ethylene glycol and formamide⋆,⋆⋆,⋆⋆⋆
LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Université
Paris-Diderot, 5 place Jules
2 IRAM, 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 Saint Martin d’Hères, France
3 California Institute of Technology, Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics 301-17, Pasadena CA 91125, USA
4 Sorbonne Universités, UPMC, CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, LERMA, 75014 Paris, France
5 JHU/APL, Laurel, Maryland, USA
6 IRAM, Avd. Divina Pastora, 7, 18012 Granada, Spain
Received: 27 March 2014
Accepted: 23 May 2014
A spectral survey in the 1 mm wavelength range was undertaken in the long-period comets C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the 30 m telescope of the Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique (IRAM) in April and November−December 2013. We report the detection of ethylene glycol (CH2OH)2 (aGg’ conformer) and formamide (NH2CHO) in the two comets. The abundances relative to water of ethylene glycol and formamide are 0.2–0.3% and 0.02% in the two comets, similar to the values measured in comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp). We also report the detection of HCOOH and CH3CHO in comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy), and a search for other complex species (methyl formate, glycolaldehyde).
Key words: astrobiology / astrochemistry / comets: individual: C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) / comets: individual: C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) / radio lines: planetary systems / submillimeter: planetary systems
Based on observations carried out with the IRAM 30 m telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain).
Tables 4 and 5 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
The IRAM dataset is available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/566/L5
© ESO, 2014