New Bistable Solutions in Molecular Cloud Chemistry: Nitrogen and Carbon Autocatalysis

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
May 1, 2023
Filed under , , , ,
New Bistable Solutions in Molecular Cloud Chemistry: Nitrogen and Carbon Autocatalysis
The carbon chemistry of Model B as in Figure 4 but with α3 = 1 × 10−7 cm3s−1. Figure (b) is as (a) except that reaction (29) has been removed. Figure (c) is as (a) except that reactions (34), (35) and (36) have been removed. — astro-ph.GA

We have investigated the chemistry of dense interstellar clouds and found new bistable solutions in the nitrogen and carbon chemistries.

We identify the autocatalytic processes that are present in the pure, reduced, chemical networks and, as previously found for oxygen chemistry, that He+ plays an important role.

The applicability of these results to astronomical environments is briefly discussed. The bistable solutions found for carbon chemistry occur for low densities and high ionization fractions that are not compatible with that found cold, dense clouds. Bistability in the pure nitrogen chemistry occurs for conditions that are relevant for prestellar cores in which significant CO depletion has taken place.

We conclude that several autocatalyses are embedded in gas-phase interstellar chemistry and that many more are potentially present.

Dufour Gwenaëlle, Steven B. Charnley

Comments: 12 pages, 5 figures, 1 table
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:2304.14477 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:2304.14477v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Gwénaëlle Dufour
[v1] Thu, 27 Apr 2023 19:31:21 UTC (3,299 KB)
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry

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) 🖖🏻