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Record 7 of 2436
The formaldehyde ortho/para ratio as a probe of dark cloud chemistry and evolution
External Online Source: doi:10.1086/307317
Author and Affiliation:
Dickens, J. E.(University of Massachusetts, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Amherst 01003, United States)
Irvine, W. M.
Abstract: We present measurements of the H2CO ortho/para ratio toward four star-forming cores, L723, L1228, L1527, and L43, and one quiescent core, L1498. Combining these data with earlier results by Minh et al., three quiescent cores are found to have ortho/para ratios near 3, the ratio of statistical weights expected for gas-phase formation processes. In contrast, ortho/para ratios are 1.5-2.1 in five star-forming cores, suggesting thermalization at a kinetic temperature of 10 K. We attribute modification of the ortho/para ratio in the latter cores to formation and/or equilibration of H2CO on grains with sub-sequent release back into the gas phase due to the increased energy inputs from the forming star and outflow. We see accompanying enhancements in the H2CO abundance relative to H, to support this idea. The results suggest that the formaldehyde ortho/para ratio can differentiate between quiescent cores and those in which low-mass star formation has occurred.
Publication Date: Jun 20, 1999
Document ID:
20040088918
(Acquired Sep 07, 2004)
Subject Category: EXOBIOLOGY
Document Type: Journal Article
Publication Information: The Astrophysical journal (ISSN 0004-637X); Volume 518; 2 Pt 1; 733-9
Publisher Information: United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NAG5-3653
Description: In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright
NASA Terms: ASTRONOMY; EXTRATERRESTRIAL ENVIRONMENTS; FORMALDEHYDE; CHEMICAL EVOLUTION; EXOBIOLOGY; GASES; MODELS
Other Descriptors: ASTRONOMY; EXTRATERRESTRIAL ENVIRONMENT; FORMALDEHYDE/CHEMISTRY; EVOLUTION, CHEMICAL; GASES/ANALYSIS/CHEMISTRY; MODELS, MOLECULAR; SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, NON-P.H.S; NASA DISCIPLINE EXOBIOLOGY; NON-NASA CENTER
Availability Source: Other Sources
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