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Journal Articles Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Year : 2022

The effect of water and electron collisions in the rotational excitation of HF in comets

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Abstract

We present the first set of rate coefficients for the rotational excitation of the 7 lowest levels of hydrogen fluoride (HF) induced by collision with water molecules, the dominant collider in cometary comas, in the 5-150 K temperature range. The calculations are performed with a quantum statistical approach from an accurate rigid rotor ab initio interaction potential. Rate coefficients for excitation of HF by electron-impact are also computed, within the Born approximation, in the 10-10 000 K temperature range. These rate coefficients are then used in a simple non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) model of a cometary coma that also includes solar radiative pumping and radiative decay. We investigate the range of H2O densities that lead to non-LTE populations of the rotational levels of HF. We show that to describe the excitation of HF in comets, considering collisions with both water molecules and electrons is needed as a result of the large dipole of HF.
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Dates and versions

insu-03860258 , version 1 (23-11-2022)

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J. Loreau, A Faure, François Lique. The effect of water and electron collisions in the rotational excitation of HF in comets. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2022, 516, pp.5964-5971. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stac2378⟩. ⟨insu-03860258⟩
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