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  Ubiquitous aromatic carbon chemistry at the earliest stages of star formation

Burkhardt, A. M., Loomis, R. A., Shingledecker, C. N., Lee, K. L. K., Remijan, A. J., McCarthy, M. C., et al. (2021). Ubiquitous aromatic carbon chemistry at the earliest stages of star formation. Nature Astronomy, 2021(5), 181-187. doi:10.1038/s41550-020-01253-4.

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Burkhardt, Andrew M., Author
Loomis, Ryan A., Author
Shingledecker, Christopher N.1, Author              
Lee, Kin Long Kelvin, Author
Remijan, Anthony J., Author
McCarthy, Michael C., Author
McGuire, Brett A., Author
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1Center for Astrochemical Studies at MPE, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_1950287              

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 Abstract: Benzonitrile (c-C6H5CN, where ‘c’ indicates a cyclic structure), a polar proxy for benzene (c-C6H6), has the potential to serve as a highly convenient radio probe for aromatic chemistry, provided that this ring can be found in other astronomical sources beyond the molecule-rich prestellar cloud TMC-1. Here we present radio astronomical evidence of benzonitrile in four other prestellar, and possibly protostellar, sources: Serpens 1A, Serpens 1B, Serpens 2 and MC27/L1521F. These detections establish that benzonitrile is not unique to TMC-1; rather, aromatic chemistry appears to be widespread throughout the earliest stages of star formation, probably persisting at least until the initial formation of a protostar. The abundance of benzonitrile far exceeds predictions from models that well reproduce the abundances of carbon chains such as HC7N, a cyanpolyyne with the same heavy atoms, indicating that the chemistry responsible for planar carbon structures (as opposed to linear ones) in primordial sources is favourable but not well understood. The abundance of benzonitrile relative to carbon chain molecules displays sizable variations between sources within the Taurus and Serpens clouds, implying the importance of physical conditions and initial elemental reservoirs of the clouds themselves.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-01-11
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41550-020-01253-4
Other: LOCALID: 3289611
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Title: Nature Astronomy
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Springer Nature
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 2021 (5) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 181 - 187 Identifier: Other: 2397-3366
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2397-3366