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Effects of shocks on the molecular composition of a dense interstellar cloud
Mitchell, G. F.
AA(Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada)
Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (ISSN 0067-0049), vol. 54, Jan. 1984, p. 81-101. Research supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. (ApJS Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Abundance, Interstellar Chemistry, Molecular Clouds, Shock Waves, Chemical Composition, Chemical Reactions, Dissociation, Hydrocarbons, Tables (Data)
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Abundances of 113 species have been followed for 100,000 yr after passage of a shock through an interstellar cloud of initial density 10,000/cu cm. Calculations were performed for shock speeds from 5 to 20 km/s. It is found that the shock becomes dissociative for a speed of about 17 km/s, and that molecules of CO, N2, and CO2 are little affected by shocks ranging from 5 to 15 km/s. For shocks of 7-16 km/s, much of the available atomic C, N, and O is incorporated into molecules as a result of post-shock chemical processing. The molecules H2O, H2CO, CH2, CH3, CH4, NH3, and HCN attain very high postshock abundances over most of the range of shock speeds 5-15 km/s. Other molecules attain high postshock abundances for at least part of this range. Shock synthesis of hydrocarbon molecules with more than three carbon atoms is less effective in a dense than in a diffuse cloud.

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