Volume 627, July 2019
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||27 June 2019|
The essential elements of dust evolution
A viable solution to the interstellar oxygen depletion problem?
Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, CNRS/Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Bâtiment 121, Université Paris-Sud,
91405 Orsay Cedex,
Accepted: 29 May 2019
Context. There remain many open questions relating to the depletion of elements into dust, e.g., exactly how are C and O incorporated into dust in dense clouds and, in particular, what drives the disappearance of oxygen in the denser interstellar medium?
Aims. This work is, in part, an attempt to explain the apparently anomalous incorporation of O atoms into dust in dense clouds.
Methods. We re-visit the question of the depletion of the elements incorporated into the carbonaceous component of interstellar dust, i.e., C, H, O, N and S, in the light of recent analyses of the organics in comets, meteorites and interplanetary dust particles.
Results. We find that oxygen could be combined with ≈10–20 % of the carbon in the dust in dense regions in the form of a difficult to observe, organic carbonate, (−O−O>C =O), which could explain the unaccounted for 170–255 ppm oxygen depletion.
Conclusions. We conclude that, while C, O and N atoms are depleted into an amorphous a-C:H:O:N phase, we posit that a significant fraction of C and O atoms could be sequestered into an organic carbonate, which provides a viable solution to the oxygen depletion problem. Further, the thermal or photolytic decomposition of this carbonate may have a bearing on the formation of CO2 in the ISM.
Key words: dust, extinction / ISM: molecules / ISM: clouds
© A. P. Jones and N. Ysard 2019
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