Gas phase Elemental abundances in Molecular cloudS (GEMS). IV. Observational results and statistical trends

Rodríguez-Baras, M., Fuente, A., Riviére-Marichalar, P., Navarro-Almaida, D., Caselli, P., Gerin, M., Kramer, C., Kirk, Jason Matthew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4552-7477 and Ward-Thompson, Derek orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1140-2761 (2021) Gas phase Elemental abundances in Molecular cloudS (GEMS). IV. Observational results and statistical trends. Astronomy & Astrophysics . ISSN 0004-6361

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Gas phase Elemental abundances in Molecular CloudS (GEMS) is an IRAM 30m Large Program designed to estimate the S, C, N, and O depletions and gas ionization degree, X(e-), in a set of star-forming filaments of Taurus, Perseus and Orion. Our immediate goal is to build up a complete database of molecular abundances that can serve as an observational basis for estimating X(e-) and the C, O, N, and S depletions through chemical modeling. We observed and derived the abundances of 14 species (13CO, C18O, HCO+, H13CO+, HC18O+, HCN, H13CN, HNC, HCS+, CS, SO, 34SO, H2S, and OCS) in 244 positions, covering the AV 3 to 100 mag, n(H2) a few 103 to 106 cm−3, and Tk 10 to 30 K ranges in these clouds, avoiding protostars, HII regions, and outflows. A statistical analysis is carried out to identify general trends between different species and with physical parameters. Relations between molecules reveal strong linear correlations which define three different families: (1) 13CO and C18O; (2) H13CO+, HC18O+, H13CN, and HNC; and (3) the S-bearing molecules. The abundances of the CO isotopologs increase with the gas kinetic temperature until TK 15 K. For higher temperatures, the abundance remains constant with a scatter of a factor of 3. The abundances of H13CO+, HC18O+, H13CN, and HNC are well correlated with each other, and all of them decrease with molecular hydrogen density, following the law n(H2)−0.8±0.2. The abundances of S-bearing species also decrease with n(H2) at a rate of (S-bearing/H)gas n(H2)−0.6±0.1. The abundances of molecules belonging to groups 2 and 3 do not present any clear trend with gas temperature. At scales of molecular clouds, the C18O abundance is the quantity that better correlates with the cloud mass. We discuss the utility of the 13CO/C18O, HCO+/H13CO+, and H13CO+/H13CN abundance ratios as chemical diagnostics of star formation in external galaxies.

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