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The gas evolution chamber coupled to radio astronomical receivers

AuthorsMoreno, E.; Santoro, Gonzalo ; Lauwaet, Koen ; Peláez, Ramón J. ; Tanarro, Isabel ; Herrero, Víctor J. ; Doménech, José Luis ; Sobrado, Jesús Manuel ; Vicente, P. de; Tercero, F.; Díaz, A.; Gallego, J. D.; López Pérez, J. A.; López-Fernández, J. A.; Pardo Carrión, Juan Ramón ; Martín-Gago, José A. ; Cernicharo, José
Issue Date12-Jun-2017
CitationEPoLM-3 (2017)
AbstractThe interstellar medium (ISM) hosts an active complex chemistry, where the intimate interaction between atoms, molecules and dust leads to an unexpectedly rich molecular universe. Tuned towards this molecular universe, radio telescopes have opened great perspectives for the characterization of the chemical composition and physical parameters in key objects, such as star and planet forming regions. Radio astronomers use large single dishes or interferometers equipped with very sensitive receivers to detect the thermal emission of the molecules present in these objects. The volume densities in molecular clouds, mostly corresponding to H2, are rather low, ¿102-105 cm¿3, the large size of these objects (typically several parsecs ¿1019cm), allows column densities to be rather high, ~1021-1024 cm¿2. Using large single-dish telescopes, the detection of the weakest and narrowest molecular lines in cold dark clouds, requiring ~20-30 kHz spectral resolution, typically needs a few hours of observing time. In order to simulate one of these molecular clouds here on Earth we would have to compress and confine the whole column of gas that a telescope observes within its beam into a gas cell which typically would have a length of the order of one meter. Column densities of the less abundant, but detected, molecules in space (N¿1011 cm¿2) would translate into partial pressures inside such a chamber in the range ~10¿8 mbar (at TK ~10 K) to ~5 10¿6 mbar (at TK~300 K). The idea behind this work is that an astronomical receiver placed in front of such a gas evolution chamber would detect lines of these low-abundance species in minutes/hours.
DescriptionNanocosmos Interstellar dust meeting, International meetings on energetic processing of large molecules and interstellar dust, Toulouse (France), 12-16 June 2017. -- https://epolm3-nanocosm.sciencesconf.org/
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