Comparing Complex Chemistry in Neighboring Hot Cores: NOEMA Studies of W3(H2O) and W3(OH)

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
July 19, 2023
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Comparing Complex Chemistry in Neighboring Hot Cores: NOEMA Studies of W3(H2O) and W3(OH)
Imaged transitions showing extended emission. The integrated intensity is given by the color bar in each image in Jy beam−1 km s−1 . Pink contours show 5 × σ and 50% of the peak emission. Black contour levels for the continuum are at 5, 15, 45, 120, and 250 × σ (σ = 6.481 mJy beam−1 ). The noise levels for each map are shown in the upper left corner in units of Jy beam−1 km s−1 . Beam size is shown in the lower left corner of each image. — astro-ph.GA

Presented here are NOEMA interferometric observations of the neighboring hot cores W3(H2O) and W3(OH). The presence of two star-forming cores at different evolutionary stages within the same parent cloud presents a unique opportunity to study how the physics of the source and its evolutionary stage impact the chemistry.

Through spectral analysis and imaging, we identify over twenty molecules in these cores. Most notably, we have detected HDO and CH3CH2CN in W3(OH), which were previously not detected in this core. We have imaged the molecular emission, revealing new structural features within these sources. W3(OH) shows absorption in a “dusty cocoon” surrounded by molecular emission. These observations also reveal extended emission that is potentially indicative of a low-velocity shock.

From the information obtained herein, we have constructed column density and temperature maps for methanol and compared this information to the molecular images. By comparing the spatial distribution of molecules which may be destroyed at later stages of star formation, this work demonstrates the impact of physical environment on chemistry in star-forming regions at different evolutionary stages.

Will E. Thompson, Morgan M. Giese, Dariusz C. Lis, Susanna L. Widicus Weaver

Comments: Published in The Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:2307.09495 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:2307.09495v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Journal reference: ApJ 952 50 (2023)
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Submission history
From: Will Thompson
[v1] Tue, 18 Jul 2023 16:05:18 UTC (2,215 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) 🖖🏻