Context. The depletion of heavy elements in cold cores of interstellar molecular clouds can lead to a situation where deuterated forms of H3+ are the most useful spectroscopic probes of the physical conditions.
Aims: The aim is to predict the observability of the rotational lines of H2D+ and D2H+ from prestellar cores.
Methods: Recently derived rate coefficients for the H3+ + H2 isotopic system were applied to the “complete depletion” reaction scheme to calculate abundance profiles in hydrostatic core models. The ground-state lines of H2D+(o) (372 GHz) and D2H+(p) (692 GHz) arising from these cores were simulated. The excitation of the rotational levels of these molecules was approximated by using the state-to-state coefficients for collisions with H2. We also predicted line profiles from cores with a power-law density distribution advocated in some previous studies.
Results: The new rate coefficients introduce some changes to the complete depletion model, but do not alter the general tendencies. One of the modifications with respect to the previous results is the increase of the D3+ abundance at the cost of other isotopologues. Furthermore, the present model predicts a lower H2D+ (o/p) ratio, and a slightly higher D2H+ (p/o) ratio in very cold, dense cores, as compared with previous modelling results. These nuclear spin ratios affect the detectability of the submm lines of H2D+(o) and D2H+(p). The previously detected H2D+ and D2H+ lines towards the core I16293E, and the H2D+ line observed towards Oph D can be reproduced using the present excitation model and the physical models suggested in the original papers.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- January 2010
- ISM: clouds;
- radio lines: ISM;
- radiative transfer;
- ISM: abundances;
- ISM: molecules;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 10 pages, 11 Figures