Volume 611, March 2018
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||Letters to the Editor|
|Published online||14 March 2018|
Letter to the Editor
Detection of interstellar HCS and its metastable isomer HSC: new pieces in the puzzle of sulfur chemistry
Instituto de Física Fundamental, CSIC,
C/ Serrano 123,
2 Observatorio Astronómico Nacional (OAN), C/ Alfonso XII 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Accepted: 26 February 2018
We present the first identification in interstellar space of the thioformyl radical (HCS) and its metastable isomer HSC. These species were detected toward the molecular cloud L483 through observations carried out with the IRAM 30 m telescope in the λ3 mm band. We derive beam-averaged column densities of 7 × 1012 cm−2 for HCS and 1.8 × 1011 cm−2 for HSC, which translate into fractional abundances relative to H2 of 2 × 10−10 and 6 × 10−12, respectively. Although the amount of sulfur locked by these radicals is low, their detection allows placing interesting constraints on the chemistry of sulfur in dark clouds. Interestingly, the H2CS/HCS abundance ratio is found to be quite low, ~1, in contrast with the oxygen analog case, in which the H2CO/HCO abundance ratio is around 10 in dark clouds. Moreover, the radical HCS is found to be more abundant than its oxygen analog, HCO. The metastable species HOC, the oxygen analog of HSC, has not yet been observed in space. These observational constraints are compared with the outcome of a recent model of the chemistry of sulfur in dark clouds. The model underestimates the fractional abundance of HCS by at least one order of magnitude, overestimates the H2CS/HCS abundance ratio, and does not provide an abundance prediction for the metastable isomer HSC. These observations should prompt a revision of the chemistry of sulfur in interstellar clouds.
Key words: astrochemistry / line: identification / ISM: clouds / ISM: molecules / radio lines: ISM
© ESO 2018
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