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Detection of the ammonium ion in space

AuthorsCernicharo, José ; Tercero, Belén ; Fuente, Asunción; Doménech, José Luis ; Cueto, Maite ; Carrasco, Esther ; Herrero, Víctor J. ; Tanarro, Isabel ; Marcelino, Nuria ; Roueff, E.; Gerin, M.; Pearson, J.
Issue Date2013
PublisherInstitute of Physics Publishing
CitationAstrophysical Journal Letters 771 (2013)
AbstractWe report on the detection of a narrow feature at 262816.73 MHz toward Orion and the cold prestellar core B1-bS which we attribute to the 1 0-00 line of the deuterated ammonium ion, NH 3D+. The observations were performed with the IRAM 30 m radio telescope. The carrier has to be a light molecular species as it is the only feature detected over 3.6 GHz of bandwidth. The hyperfine structure is not resolved, indicating a very low value for the electric quadrupolar coupling constant of nitrogen which is expected for NH3D + as the electric field over the N nucleus is practically zero. Moreover, the feature is right at the predicted frequency for the 10-00 transition of the ammonium ion, 262817 ± 6 MHz (3σ), using rotational constants derived from new infrared data obtained in our laboratory in Madrid. The estimated column density is (1.1 ± 0.2) × 1012 cm-2. Assuming a deuterium enhancement similar to that of NH 2D, we derive N(NH) ≃ 2.6 × 1013 cm -2, i.e., an abundance for ammonium of a few 10-11. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1088/2041-8205/771/1/L10
issn: 2041-8205
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