Detection of interstellar oxidaniumyl: Abundant H2O+ towards the star-forming regions DR21, Sgr B2, and NGC6334
Aims: We identify a prominent absorption feature at 1115 GHz, detected in first HIFI spectra towards high-mass star-forming regions, and interpret its astrophysical origin.
Methods: The characteristic hyperfine pattern of the H2O+ ground-state rotational transition, and the lack of other known low-energy transitions in this frequency range, identifies the feature as H2O+ absorption against the dust continuum background and allows us to derive the velocity profile of the absorbing gas. By comparing this velocity profile with velocity profiles of other tracers in the DR21 star-forming region, we constrain the frequency of the transition and the conditions for its formation.
Results: In DR21, the velocity distribution of H2O+ matches that of the [C ii] line at 158 μm and of OH cm-wave absorption, both stemming from the hot and dense clump surfaces facing the H ii-region and dynamically affected by the blister outflow. Diffuse foreground gas dominates the absorption towards Sgr B2. The integrated intensity of the absorption line allows us to derive lower limits to the H2O+ column density of 7.2 × 1012 cm-2 in NGC 6334, 2.3 × 1013 cm-2 in DR21, and 1.1 × 1015 cm-2 in Sgr B2.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- July 2010
- line: identification;
- molecular data;
- ISM: abundances;
- ISM: molecules;
- ISM: clouds;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- Accepted for publication in A&