Astrochemistry

Publication Abstract

BIMA Array Detections of HCN in Comets LINEAR (C/2002 T7) and NEAT (C/2001 Q4)

D. N. Friedel, L. E. Snyder, L. W. Looney, H. R. Dickel, Anthony J. Remijan, Patrick Palmer, Imke de Pater, J. R. Forster, C. Kraybill, M. C. H. Wright, M. R. Hogerheijde, M. F. A'Hearn, and Geoffrey A. Blake

We present interferometric detections of HCN in comets LINEAR (C/2002 T7) and NEAT (C/2001 Q4) with the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (BIMA) Array in D-configuration. We detected the HCN J=1-0 emission line in both comets. With a 25.4"x20.3" synthesized beam around Comet LINEAR, we found a total beam averaged HCN column density of NT = 8.5±2.8x1012 cm-2, and a HCN production rate of Q(HCN)=8.4±2.8x1026 s-1, giving a production rate ratio of HCN relative to H2O of ~1.6±0.5x10-3 and relative to CN of ~1.1±0.4. With a 21.3"x17.5" synthesized beam around Comet NEAT, we found a total beam averaged HCN column density of NT = 1.0±0.5x1012 cm-2, and a HCN production rate of Q(HCN)=9.2±5.1x1025 s-1 giving a production rate ratio of HCN relative to H2O of ~0.8±0.4x10-3 and relative to CN of ~0.3±0.2. For both comets, the production rates relative to H2O are similar to previous comet observations. For Comet LINEAR the production rate relative to CN is consistent with HCN being the primary parent species of CN, while for Comet NEAT it is too low for this to be the case.

Presented at the 60th International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, June 2005



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© 2015, D. N. Friedel