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Title:
Variations in the HCN/HNC abundance ratio in the Orion molecular cloud
Authors:
Goldsmith, Paul F.; Irvine, William M.; Hjalmarson, Ake; Ellder, Joel
Affiliation:
AA(Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory; Massachusetts, University, Amherst), AB(Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory; Massachusetts, University, Amherst), AC(Onsala Rymdobservatorium, Sweden), AD(Onsala Rymdobservatorium, Sweden)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 310, Nov. 1, 1986, p. 383-391. Sponsorship: Naturvetenskapliga Forskningsradet of Sweden. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
11/1986
Category:
Astrophysics
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Abundance, Hydrocyanic Acid, Isomers, Molecular Clouds, Orion Nebula, Periodic Variations, Data Processing, Interstellar Matter, Ratios, Spectrographs
DOI:
10.1086/164692
Bibliographic Code:
1986ApJ...310..383G

Abstract

Observations of the rare isotopes of HCN and HNC have been used to determine the relative abundance of these two chemical isomers along the central ridge of the Orion molecular cloud. The abundance ratio HCN/HNC decreases by more than an order of magnitude from the relatively warm plateau and hot core sources toward the KL nebula to the colder, more quiescent clouds to the north and south. Even in the cooler regions, however, the ratio is an order of magnitude larger than that found in previous investigations of cold dark clouds. The kinetic temperature in the regions studied is determined from new observations of methylacetylene (CH3CCH), together with other recent estimates of the gas temperature near KL. The results suggest that the warmer portions of the cloud are dominated by different chemical pathways that those in the general instellar cloud material.

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