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Excitation of methyl cyanide in the hot core of the Orion
Sutton, E. C.; Blake, Geoffrey A.; Genzel, R.; Masson, C. R.; Phillips, T. G.
AA(California, University, Berkeley), AB(California, University, Berkeley), AC(California, University, Berkeley), AD(California Institute of Technology, Pasadena), AE(California Institute of Technology, Pasadena)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 311, Dec. 15, 1986, p. 921-929. Research supported by the Miller Research Institute. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Acetonitrile, Astronomical Spectroscopy, Mass Distribution, Molecular Clouds, Orion Nebula, Astronomical Models, Collision Rates, Optical Thickness, Radiative Transfer, Statistical Distributions
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The excitation of CH3CN in the hot core of Orion is examined using high-sensitivity observational data at 1.3 mm. Observed line fluxes are analyzed by means of multilevel statistical equilibrium calculations. The analysis is applied to both optically thin models of the hot core region and models with significant optical depths. Trapping is found to play a critical role in the excitation of CH3CN. An optically thin analysis yields a kinetic temperature of 275K and a cloud density of 2×106cm-3. However, significant optical depths are expected if the hot core source is as small as 10arcsec. In this case, the cloud density and temperature are lowered to 1.5×106cm-3 and 240K.

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