Volume 577, May 2015
|Number of page(s)||29|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||29 April 2015|
Sulphur-bearing molecules in diffuse molecular clouds: new results from SOFIA/GREAT and the IRAM 30 m telescope⋆
The Johns Hopkins University,
3400 North Charles St.,
2 LERMA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL University, CNRS, UMR 8112, 75014 Paris, France
3 Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 6, UMR 8112, LERMA, 75005 Paris, France
4 Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS UMR 8617, Université Paris-Sud, 91400 Orsay, France
5 Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, McCormick Road, PO Box 400319, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
6 I. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Strasse 77, 50937 Köln, Germany
7 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
8 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Received: 23 November 2014
Accepted: 12 February 2015
We have observed five sulphur-bearing molecules in foreground diffuse molecular clouds lying along the sight-lines to five bright continuum sources. We have used the GREAT instrument on SOFIA to observe the SH 1383 GHz 2Π3/2 J = 5/2 ← 3/2 lambda doublet toward the star-forming regions W31C, G29.96–0.02, G34.3+0.1, W49N and W51, detecting foreground absorption towards all five sources; and the EMIR receivers on the IRAM 30 m telescope at Pico Veleta to detect the H2S 110−101 (169 GHz), CS J = 2−1 (98 GHz) and SO 32−21 (99 GHz) transitions. Upper limits on the H3S+10−00 (293 GHz) transition were also obtained at the IRAM 30 m. In nine foreground absorption components detected towards these sources, the inferred column densities of the four detected molecules showed relatively constant ratios, with N(SH) /N(H2S) in the range 1.1−3.0, N(CS) /N(H2S) in the range 0.32−0.61, and N(SO) /N(H2S) in the range 0.08−0.30. The column densities of the sulphur-bearing molecules are very well correlated amongst themselves, moderately well correlated with CH (a surrogate tracer for H2), and poorly correlated with atomic hydrogen. The observed SH/H2 ratios – in the range 5 to 26 × 10-9 – indicate that SH (and other sulphur-bearing molecules) account for ≪ 1% of the gas-phase sulphur nuclei. The observed abundances of sulphur-bearing molecules, however, greatly exceed those predicted by standard models of cold diffuse molecular clouds, providing further evidence for the enhancement of endothermic reaction rates by elevated temperatures or ion-neutral drift. We have considered the observed abundance ratios in the context of shock and turbulent dissipation region (TDR) models. Using the TDR model, we find that the turbulent energy available at large scale in the diffuse ISM is sufficient to explain the observed column densities of SH and CS. Standard shock and TDR models, however, fail to reproduce the column densities of H2S and SO by a factor of about 10; more elaborate shock models – in which account is taken of the velocity drift, relative to H2, of SH molecules produced by the dissociative recombination of H3S+ – reduce this discrepancy to a factor ~3.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: molecules / submillimeter: ISM / molecular processes / ISM: clouds
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015
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