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Detection of C3O in IRC+10216: Oxygen-Carbon chain chemistry in the outer envelope

AuthorsTenenbaum, E. D.; Apponi, A. J.; Ziurys, L. M.; Agúndez, Marcelino ; Cernicharo, José ; Pardo Carrión, Juan Ramón ; Guélin, Michel
Circumstellar matter
ISM: molecules
Radio lines: stars
Stars: carbon
Stars: individual (IRC +10216)
Issue Date20-Sep-2006
PublisherAmerican Astronomical Society
University of Chicago Press
CitationThe Astrophysical Journal, 649: L17–L20 (2006)
AbstractThe oxygen-bearing species C3O has been identified in the circumstellar envelope of the carbon star IRC +10216. The J = 8-->7, 9-->8, 10-->9, 14-->13, and 15-->14 transitions were detected at 2 and 3 mm using the Arizona Radio Observatory’s 12 m telescope. Measurements of the J = 9-->8, 10-->9, and 12-->11 lines were simultaneously conducted at the IRAM 30 m telescope. The line profiles of C3O are roughly U-shaped, indicating an extended shell distribution for this molecule in IRC +10216. The total column density derived for C3O is 1.2x10^12 cm^-2, at least an order of magnitude higher than that predicted by current chemical models. However, a revised model that includes reactions of atomic oxygen with carbon-chain radicals, such as l-C3H and C4, can reproduce the observed abundance. This model also predicts that C3O arises from a shell source with an outer radius near r ∼ 30", consistent with the observations. These results suggest that gas phase neutral-neutral chemistry may be producing the oxygen-bearing molecules present in the outer envelope of IRC +10216.
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