Infrared space observatory with the observations of solid carbon dioxide in molecular clouds

Academic Article


  • Spectra of interstellar CO2 ice absorption features at a resolving power of λ/Δλ ≈ 1500-2000 are presented for 14 lines of sight. The observations were made with the Short-Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) of the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). Spectral coverage includes the primary stretching mode of CO2 near 4.27 μm in all sources; the bending mode near 15.2 μm is also detected in 12 of them. The selected sources include massive protostars (Elias 29 [in ρ Oph], GL 490, GL 2136, GL 2591, GL 4176, NGC 7538 IRS 1, NGC 7538 IRS 9, S140, W3 IRS 5, and W33 A), sources associated with the Galactic Center (Sgr A*, GCS 3 I, and GCS 4), and a background star behind a quiescent dark cloud in Taurus (Elias 16); they thus probe a diverse range of environments. Column densities of interstellar CO2 ice relative to H2O ice fall in the range 10%-23%: this ratio displays remarkably little variation for such a physically diverse sample. Comparison of the observed profiles with laboratory data for CO2-bearing ice mixtures indicates that CO2 generally exists in at least two phases, one polar (H2O dominant) and one nonpolar (CO2 dominant). The observed CO2 profiles may also be reproduced when the nonpolar components are replaced with thermally annealed ices. Formation and evolutionary scenarios for CO2 and implications for grain mantle chemistry are discussed. Our results support the conclusion that thermal annealing, rather than energetic processing due to UV photons or cosmic rays, dominates the evolution of CO2-bearing ices.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gerakines PA; Whittet DCB; Ehrenfreund P; Boogert ACA; Tielens AGGM; Schutte WA; Chiar JE; Van Dishoeck EF; Prusti T; Helmich FP
  • Start Page

  • 357
  • End Page

  • 377
  • Volume

  • 522
  • Issue

  • 1 PART 1