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First detection of glycolaldehyde outside the Galactic Center

AuthorsBeltrán, María Teresa CSIC; Codella, C.; Viti, Serena; Neri, R.; Cesaroni, R.
KeywordsISM: individual objects: G31.41+0.31
ISM: molecules
Stars: formation
Issue Date24-Nov-2008
PublisherAmerican Astronomical Society
University of Chicago Press
CitationApJ Letters (in press)
AbstractGlycolaldehyde is the simplest of the monosaccharide sugars and is directly linked to the origin of life. We report on the detection of glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO) towards the hot molecular core G31.41+0.31 through IRAM PdBI observations at 1.4, 2.1, and 2.9 mm. The CH2OHCHO emission comes from the hottest (>= 300 K) and densest (>= 2E8 cm^-3) region closest (<= 10^4 AU) to the (proto)stars. The comparison of data with gas-grain chemical models of hot cores suggests for G31.41+0.31 an age of a few 10^5 yr. We also show that only small amounts of CO need to be processed on grains in order for existing hot core gas-grain chemical models to reproduce the observed column densities of glycolaldehyde, making surface reactions the most feasible route to its formation.
Description8 pages, 2 tables, 2 figures.-- Accepted for publication in ApJ Letters.
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