Gas phase Elemental abudances in Molecular cloudS (GEMS)

Fuente, A., Navarro, D.G., Caselli, P., Gerin, M., Kramer, C., Roueff, E., Alonso-Albi, T., Bachiller, R., Cazaux, S. et al (2019) Gas phase Elemental abudances in Molecular cloudS (GEMS). Astronomy and Astrophysics, 624 (A105). ISSN 2329-1273

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GEMS is an IRAM 30 m Large Program whose aim is determining the elemental depletions and the ionization fraction in a set of prototypical star-forming regions. This paper presents the first results from the prototypical dark cloud Taurus molecular cloud (TMC) 1. Extensive millimeter observations have been carried out with the IRAM 30 m telescope (3 and 2 mm) and the 40 m Yebes telescope (1.3 cm and 7 mm) to determine the fractional abundances of CO, HCO+, HCN, CS, SO, HCS+, and N2H+ in three cuts which intersect the dense filament at the well-known positions TMC 1-CP, TMC 1-NH3, and TMC 1-C, covering a visual extinction range from AV ~ 3 to ~20 mag. Two phases with differentiated chemistry can be distinguished: (i) the translucent envelope with molecular hydrogen densities of 1−5 × 103 cm−3; and (ii) the dense phase, located at AV > 10 mag, with molecular hydrogen densities >104 cm−3. Observations and modeling show that the gas phase abundances of C and O progressively decrease along the C+/C/CO transition zone (AV ~ 3 mag) where C/H ~ 8 × 10−5 and C/O ~ 0.8−1, until the beginning of the dense phase at AV ~ 10 mag. This is consistent with the grain temperatures being below the CO evaporation temperature in this region. In the case of sulfur, a strong depletion should occur before the translucent phase where we estimate an S∕H ~ (0.4−2.2) × 10−6, an abundance ~7–40 times lower than the solar value. A second strong depletion must be present during the formation of the thick icy mantles to achieve the values of S/H measured in the dense cold cores (S∕H ~ 8 × 10−8). Based on our chemical modeling, we constrain the value of ζH2 to ~(0.5–1.8) × 10−16 s−1 in the translucent cloud.

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