Formation Of The Methyl Cation By Photochemistry In A Protoplanetary Disk

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
January 10, 2024
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Formation Of The Methyl Cation By Photochemistry In A Protoplanetary Disk
Overview of the d203-506 externally irradiated protoplanetary disk. Integrated intensity images from NIRCam F212N filter (a), Hubble Space Telescope [OI] (b), NIRSpec [FeII] (c), NIRSpec CH+ 1-0 P(7) at 3.95 µm (d), and MIRI MRS integrated from 7.16 to 7.20 µm assigned to CH+ 3 (e). Each panel is centered at α=5:35:20.318 and δ=-5:25:05.662 and are 2″ × 2″ wide. Contours of NIRCam vibrationally excited H2 (2.12 µm band) are represented in orange, and ALMA dust continuum emission at 344 GHz from the disk in white contours. (f,) Sketch of the d203-506 disk, jet, and wind. We note that the low mass star is not seen in the images because of the disk flaring. All JWST images are from the PDRs4All program, while the Hubble image is from (9). — astro-ph.GA

Forty years ago it was proposed that gas phase organic chemistry in the interstellar medium was initiated by the methyl cation CH3+, but hitherto it has not been observed outside the Solar System.

Alternative routes involving processes on grain surfaces have been invoked. Here we report JWST observations of CH3+ in a protoplanetary disk in the Orion star forming region.

We find that gas-phase organic chemistry is activated by UV irradiation.

Olivier Berné, Marie-Aline Martin-Drumel, Ilane Schroetter, Javier R. Goicoechea, Ugo Jacovella, Bérenger Gans, Emmanuel Dartois, Laurent Coudert, Edwin Bergin, Felipe Alarcon, Jan Cami, Evelyne Roueff, John H. Black, Oskar Asvany, Emilie Habart, Els Peeters, Amelie Canin, Boris Trahin, Christine Joblin, Stephan Schlemmer, Sven Thorwirth, Jose Cernicharo, Maryvonne Gerin, Alexander Tielens, Marion Zannese, Alain Abergel, Jeronimo Bernard-Salas, Christiaan Boersma, Emeric Bron, Ryan Chown, Sara Cuadrado, Daniel Dicken, Meriem Elyajouri, Asunción Fuente, Karl D. Gordon, Lina Issa, Olga Kannavou, Baria Khan, Ozan Lacinbala, David Languignon, Romane Le Gal, Alexandros Maragkoudakis, Raphael Meshaka, Yoko Okada, Takashi Onaka, Sofia Pasquini, Marc W. Pound, Massimo Robberto, Markus Röllig, Bethany Schefter, Thiébaut Schirmer, Ameek Sidhu, Benoit Tabone, Dries Van De Putte, Sílvia Vicente, Mark G. Wolfire

Comments: Published in Nature
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Chemical Physics (physics.chem-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:2401.03296 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:2401.03296v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Journal reference: Nature 621, 56-59 (2023)
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Submission history
From: Olivier Berne
[v1] Sat, 6 Jan 2024 20:19:44 UTC (6,399 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) 🖖🏻