New upper limits on the interstellar O_2_ abundance.
We report new observations of molecular oxygen in absorption at z=0.685 in front of the radio source B0218+357. The lines at 56.3 and 118.7GHz have been observed, redshifted to 33.4 and 70.5GHz respectively, with the 12m at Kitt Peak, 43m at Green Bank telescopes, and the 45m Nobeyama radio telescope. Deriving the surface filling factor of the absorbing dark cloud with other lines detected at nearby frequencies, we deduce from the upper limits on the O_2_ lines a relative abundance of molecular oxygen with respect to carbon monoxyde of O_2_/CO <~2x10^-3^ at 1σ, seven times lower than the previous limit. The consequences of this result are discussed.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- November 1997
- ISM: ABUNDANCES;
- QUASARS: ABSORPTION LINES;
- RADIO LINES: ISM;
- 4 pages, 3 figures, Letter accepted in Astron. &