Glycolaldehyde is the simplest of the monosaccharide sugars and is directly linked to the origin of life. We report on the detection of glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO) toward the hot molecular core G31.41+0.31 through IRAM PdBI observations at 1.4, 2.1, and 2.9 mm. The CH2OHCHO emission comes from the hottest (>= 300 K) and densest (>= 2 × 108 cm-3) region closest (<= 104 AU) to the (proto)stars. The comparison of data with gas-grain chemical models of hot cores suggests for G31.41+0.31 an age of a few 105 yr. We also show that only small amounts of CO need to be processed on grains in order for existing hot core gas-grain chemical models to reproduce the observed column densities of glycolaldehyde, making surface reactions the most feasible route to its formation.Based on observations carried out with the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany), and IGN (Spain).
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- January 2009
- ISM: individual: G31.41+0.31;
- ISM: molecules;
- stars: formation;
- Comments: 8 pages, 2 tables, 2 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ Letter. This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it