Low levels of methanol deuteration in the high-mass star-forming region NGC 6334I
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA
3 Sackler Laboratory for Astrophysics, Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
4 INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
5 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
6 Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands
7 Max-Planck Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstr. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
Accepted: 31 March 2018
Context. The abundance of deuterated molecules in a star-forming region is sensitive to the environment in which they are formed. Deuteration fractions, in other words the ratio of a species containing D to its hydrogenated counterpart, therefore provide a powerful tool for studying the physical and chemical evolution of a star-forming system. While local low-mass star-forming regions show very high deuteration ratios, much lower fractions are observed towards Orion and the Galactic centre. Astration of deuterium has been suggested as a possible cause for low deuteration in the Galactic centre.
Aims. We derive methanol deuteration fractions at a number of locations towards the high-mass star-forming region NGC 6334I, located at a mean distance of 1.3 kpc, and discuss how these can shed light on the conditions prevailing during its formation.
Methods. We use high sensitivity, high spatial and spectral resolution observations obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter/ submillimeter Array to study transitions of the less abundant, optically thin, methanol-isotopologues: 13CH3OH, CH318OH, CH2DOH and CH3OD, detected towards NGC 6334I. Assuming local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) and excitation temperatures of ~120–330 K, we derive column densities for each of the species and use these to infer CH2DOH/CH3OH and CH3OD/CH3OH fractions.
Results. We derive column densities in a range of (0.8–8.3) × 1017 cm−2 for 13CH3OH, (0.13–3.4) × 1017 cm−2 for CH318OH, (0.03–1.63) × 1017 cm−2 for CH2DOH and (0.15–5.5) × 1017 cm−2 for CH3OD in a ~1″ beam. Interestingly, the column densities of CH3OD are consistently higher than those of CH2DOH throughout the region by factors of 2–15. We calculate the CH2DOH to CH3OH and CH3OD to CH3OH ratios for each of the sampled locations in NGC 6334I. These values range from 0.03% to 0.34% for CH2DOH and from 0.27% to 1.07% for CH3OD if we use the 13C isotope of methanol as a standard; using the 18 O-methanol as a standard, decreases the ratios by factors of between two and three.
Conclusions. All regions studied in this work show CH2DOH/CH3OH as well as CH2DOH/CH3OD values that are considerably lower than those derived towards low-mass star-forming regions and slightly lower than those derived for the high-mass star-forming regions in Orion and the Galactic centre. The low ratios indicate a grain surface temperature during formation ~30 K, for which the efficiency of the formation of deuterated species is significantly reduced. Therefore, astration of deuterium in the Galactic centre cannot be the explanation for its low deuteration ratio but rather the high temperatures characterising the region.
Key words: astrochemistry / methods: observational / stars: protostars / ISM: individual objects: NGC 6334I / submillimeter: ISM
© ESO 2018