Centre for Star and Planet Formation, Niels Bohr Institute &
Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen,
Øster Voldgade 5–7,
2 Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Received: 30 March 2015
Accepted: 4 July 2015
Context. With only a few low- and high-mass star-formation regions studied in detail so far, it is unclear what role the enviroment plays in complex molecule formation. In this light, a comparison of relative abundances of related species between sources might be useful for explaining any observed differences.
Aims. We seek to measure the relative abundance between three important complex organic molecules, ethylene glycol ((CH2OH)2), glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO) and methyl formate (HCOOCH3), toward high-mass protostars and thereby provide additional constraints on their formation pathways.
Methods. We use IRAM 30 m single-dish observations of the three species toward two high-mass star-forming regions – W51/e2 and G34.3+0.2 – and report a tentative detection of (CH2OH)2 toward both sources.
Results. Assuming that (CH2OH)2, CH2OHCHO, and HCOOCH3 spatially coexist, relative abundance ratios, HCOOCH3/(CH2OH)2, of 31 and 35 are derived for G34.3+0.2 and W51/e2, respectively. CH2OHCHO is not detected, but the data provide lower limits to the HCOOCH3/CH2OHCHO abundance ratios of ≥193 for G34.3+0.2 and ≥550 for W51/e2. A comparison of these results to measurements from various sources in the literature indicates that the source luminosities may be correlated with the HCOOCH3/(CH2OH)2 and HCOOCH3/CH2OHCHO ratios. This apparent correlation may be a consequence of the relative time scales each source spend at different temperature ranges in their evolution. Furthermore, we obtain lower limits to the ratio of (CH2OH)2/CH2OHCHO for G34.3+0.2 (≥6) and W51/e2 (≥16). This result confirms that a high (CH2OH)2/CH2OHCHO abundance ratio is not a specific property of comets, as previously speculated.
Key words: ISM: molecules / ISM: abundances / ISM: individual objects: W51/e2 / methods: observational / astrochemistry / ISM: individual objects: G34.3+0.2
The reduced spectra (FITS files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/582/A64
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2015