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Clues to NaCN formation

AuthorsQuintana-Lacaci, G. ; Cernicharo, José ; Velilla Prieto, L. ; Agúndez, Marcelino ; Castro-Carrizo, A.; Fonfría, José Pablo ; Massalkhi, S.; Pardo Carrión, Juan Ramón
Stars: AGB and post-AGB
Circumstellar matter
Stars: individual: IRC+10216
Issue DateNov-2017
PublisherEDP Sciences
CitationAstronomy and Astrophysics 607: L5 (2017)
Abstract[Context] ALMA is providing us essential information on where certain molecules form. Observing where these molecules emission arises from, the physical conditions of the gas, and how this relates with the presence of other species allows us to understand the formation of many species, and to significantly improve our knowledge of the chemistry that occurs in the space.
[Aims] We studied the molecular distribution of NaCN around IRC +10216, a molecule detected previously, but whose origin is not clear. High angular resolution maps allow us to model the abundance distribution of this molecule and check suggested formation paths.
[Methods] We modeled the emission of NaCN assuming local thermal equilibrium (LTE) conditions. These profiles were fitted to azimuthal averaged intensity profiles to obtain an abundance distribution of NaCN.
[Results] We found that the presence of NaCN seems compatible with the presence of CN, probably as a result of the photodissociation of HCN, in the inner layers of the ejecta of IRC +10216. However, similar as for CHCN, current photochemical models fail to reproduce this CN reservoir. We also found that the abundance peak of NaCN appears at a radius of 3 × 10 cm, approximately where the abundance of NaCl, suggested to be the parent species, starts to decay. However, the abundance ratio shows that the NaCl abundance is lower than that obtained for NaCN. We expect that the LTE assumption might result in NaCN abundances higher than the real ones. Updated photochemical models, collisional rates, and reaction rates are essential to determine the possible paths of the NaCN formation.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201732015
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