Detection of New Methylamine Sources: Candidates for Future Glycine Surveys

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
August 23, 2017
Filed under
Detection of New Methylamine Sources: Candidates for Future Glycine Surveys

It has been a long-standing problem to detect interstellar glycine (NH2CH2COOH), the simplest amino acid, in studying a possible relation between the Universe and origin of life.

In the last about 40 years all surveys of glycine failed, and it would be an alternative strategy to search for precursor(s) to glycine.

Such studies of precursors would be crucial prior to conducting sensitive surveys by ALMA.

Laboratory studies have suggested that CH3NH2 is a possible precursor to glycine. Further theoretical study also suggested that the CH2NH2 radical that can be formed from CH3NH2 through photodissociation can be a good precursor to glycine. Thus we observed CH3NH2 towards several hot core sources by using the Nobeyama 45m radio telescope, and succeeded in finding a new CH3NH2 source, G10.47+0.03, with its fractional abundance of 2.4+-0.6×10^{-8}; at the time of writing, this source is the most abundant source of CH3NH2 ever known.

We also found another new source of CH3NH2, NGC6334F, however, the detection may be tentative since the signal-to-noise ratios are not sufficient to claim secure detection. Detailed analysis of the detected data revealed the detection of the hyperfine components of CH3NH2 for the first time. We found that the observed abundance of CH3NH2 agrees fairly well with the theoretically predicted value by Garrod (2013). Detectability of interstellar glycine is discussed.

Masatoshi Ohishi, Taiki Suzuki, Tomoya Hirota, Masao Saito, Norio Kaifu
(Submitted on 23 Aug 2017)

Comments: 27 pages, 4 figures, 5 tables, submitted to the Publications of Astronomical Society of Japan (PASJ)
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)
Cite as: arXiv:1708.06871 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:1708.06871v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Submission history
From: Masatoshi Ohishi
[v1] Wed, 23 Aug 2017 02:36:31 GMT (267kb)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻