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Comparative study of CH^+ and SH^+ absorption lines observed towards distant star-forming regions

Godard, B. and Falgarone, E. and Gerin, M. and Lis, D. C. and De Luca, M. and Black, J. H. and Goicoechea, J. R. and Cernicharo, J. and Neufeld, D. A. and Menten, K. M. and Emprechtinger, M. (2012) Comparative study of CH^+ and SH^+ absorption lines observed towards distant star-forming regions. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 540 . Art. No. A87. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201117664.

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Aims. The HIFI instrument onboard Herschel has allowed high spectral resolution and sensitive observations of ground-state transitions of three molecular ions: the methylidyne cation CH^+, its isotopologue ^(13)CH^+, and sulfanylium SH^+. Because of their unique chemical properties, a comparative analysis of these cations provides essential clues to the link between the chemistry and dynamics of the diffuse interstellar medium. Methods. The CH^+, ^(13)CH^+, and SH^+ lines are observed in absorption towards the distant high-mass star-forming regions (SFRs) DR21(OH), G34.3+0.1, W31C, W33A, W49N, and W51, and towards two sources close to the Galactic centre, SgrB2(N) and SgrA^*+50. All sight lines sample the diffuse interstellar matter along pathlengths of several kiloparsecs across the Galactic Plane. In order to compare the velocity structure of each species, the observed line profiles were deconvolved from the hyperfine structure of the SH^+ transition and the CH^+, ^(13)CH^+, and SH^+ spectra were independently decomposed into Gaussian velocity components. To analyse the chemical composition of the foreground gas, all spectra were divided, in a second step, into velocity intervals over which the CH^+, ^(13)CH^+, and SH^+ column densities and abundances were derived. Results. SH^+ is detected along all observed lines of sight, with a velocity structure close to that of CH^+ and ^(13)CH^+. The linewidth distributions of the CH^+, SH^+, and ^(13)CH^+ Gaussian components are found to be similar. These distributions have the same mean (⟨Δυ⟩ ~ 4.2 km s^(-1)) and standard deviation (σ(Δυ) ~ 1.5 km s^(-1)). This mean value is also close to that of the linewidth distribution of the CH^+ visible transitions detected in the solar neighbourhood. We show that the lack of absorption components narrower than 2 km s^(-1) is not an artefact caused by noise: the CH^+, ^(13)CH^+, and SH^+ line profiles are therefore statistically broader than those of most species detected in absorption in diffuse interstellar gas (e.g. HCO^+, CH, or CN). The SH^+/CH^+ column density ratio observed in the components located away from the Galactic centre spans two orders of magnitude and correlates with the CH^+ abundance. Conversely, the ratio observed in the components close to the Galactic centre varies over less than one order of magnitude with no apparent correlation with the CH^+ abundance. The observed dynamical and chemical properties of SH^+ and CH^+ are proposed to trace the ubiquitous process of turbulent dissipation, in shocks or shears, in the diffuse ISM and the specific environment of the Galactic centre regions.

Item Type:Article
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Lis, D. C.0000-0002-0500-4700
Neufeld, D. A.0000-0001-8341-1646
Menten, K. M.0000-0001-6459-0669
Additional Information:© 2012 ESO. Received: 8 July 2011. Accepted: 13 January 2012. Published online 30 March 2012. Based on observations obtained with the HIFI instrument onboard the Herschel space telescope in the framework of the key programmes PRISMAS and HEXOS. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. We are most grateful to the referee for providing constructive comments and helping in improving the content of this paper. HIFI has been designed and built by a consortium of institutes and university departments from across Europe, Canada and the United States (NASA) under the leadership of SRON, Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Groningen, The Netherlands, and with major contributions from Germany, France and the US. Consortium members are: Canada: CSA, U. Waterloo; France: CESR, LAB, LERMA, IRAM; Germany: KOSMA, MPIfR, MPS; Ireland: NUI Maynooth; Italy: ASI, IFSI-INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri-INAF; Netherlands: SRON, TUD; Poland: CAMK, CBK; Spain: Observatorio Astronòmico Nacional (IGN), Centro de Astrobiologia; Sweden: Chalmers University of Technology – MC2, RSS & GARD, Onsala Space Observatory, Swedish National Space Board, Stockholm University – Stockholm Observatory; Switzerland: ETH Zurich, FHNW; USA: CalTech, JPL, NHSC. B.G, E.F., M.G., and M.D.L. acknowledge the support from the Centre National de Recherche Spatiale (CNES), and from ANR through the SCHISM project (ANR-09-BLAN-231). B.G., J.C., and J.R.G. thank the Spanish MICINN for funding support through grants, AYA2009-07304 and CSD2009-00038.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-09-BLAN-231
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)AYA2009-07304
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)CSD2009-00038
Subject Keywords:astrochemistry; turbulence; ISM: molecules; ISM: kinematics and dynamics; ISM: structure; ISM: clouds
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120530-131744454
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Official Citation:Comparative study of CH+ and SH+ absorption lines observed towards distant star-forming regions B. Godard, E. Falgarone, M. Gerin, D. C. Lis, M. De Luca, J. H. Black, J. R. Goicoechea, J. Cernicharo, D. A. Neufeld, K. M. Menten and M. Emprechtinger A&A 540 A87 (2012) DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31718
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:30 May 2012 21:02
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 19:59

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