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Detection of a new interstellar molecule, H2CN
Ohishi, Masatoshi; McGonagle, Douglas; Irvine, William M.; Yamamoto, Satoshi; Saito, Shuji
AA(Nobeyama Radio Observatory, Nobeyama, Japan), AB(Nobeyama Radio Observatory, Nobeyama, Japan), AC(University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US), AD(University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, US), AE(Inst. for Molecular Science, Myodaiji, Okazaki, Japan)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters, vol. 427, no. 1, p. L51-L54 (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Abundance, Carbon Compounds, Interstellar Matter, Methylene, Molecular Clouds, Radio Astronomy, Radio Spectra, Rotational Spectra, Astronomical Observatories, High Resolution, Radio Telescopes
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We have detected a new interstellar molecule, H2CN (methylene amidogen), in the cold, dark molecular cloud TMC-1. The column density of H2CN is estimated to be approximately 1.5 x 1011 cm-2 by assuming an excitation temperature of 5 K. This column density corresponds to a fractional abundance relative to H2 of approximately 1.5 x 10-11. This value is more than three orders of magnitude less than the abundance of the related molecule HCN in TMC-1. We also report a tentative detection of H2CN in Sgr B2(N). The formation mechanism of H2CN is discussed. Our detection of the N2CN molecule may suggest the existence of a new series of carbon-chain molecules, CH2C(n)N (N = 0, 1, 2, ...).

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