Two-dimensional ice mapping of molecular cores

Noble, J. A.; Fraser, H. J.; Pontoppidan, K. M. and Craigon, A. M. (2017). Two-dimensional ice mapping of molecular cores. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 467(4) pp. 4753–4762.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stx329

Abstract

We present maps of the column densities of H2O, CO2 and CO ices towards the molecular cores B 35A, DC 274.2-00.4, BHR 59 and DC 300.7-01.0. These ice maps, probing spatial distances in molecular cores as low as 2200 au, challenge the traditional hypothesis that the denser the region observed, the more ice is present, providing evidence that the relationships between solid molecular species are more varied than the generic picture we often adopt to model gas–grain chemical processes and explain feedback between solid phase processes and gas phase abundances. We present the first combined solid–gas maps of a single molecular species, based upon observations of both CO ice and gas phase C18O towards B 35A, a star-forming dense core in Orion. We conclude that molecular species in the solid phase are powerful tracers of ‘small-scale’ chemical diversity, prior to the onset of star formation. With a component analysis approach, we can probe the solid phase chemistry of a region at a level of detail greater than that provided by statistical analyses or generic conclusions drawn from single pointing line-of-sight observations alone.

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