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A rigorous detection of interstellar CH3NCO: An important missing species in astrochemical networks

Abstract : The recent analysis of the composition of the frozen surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has revealed a significant number of complex organic molecules. Methyl isocyanate (CH3NCO) is one of the more abundant species detected on the comet surface. In this work we report extensive characterization of its rotational spectrum resulting in a list of 1269 confidently assigned laboratory lines and its detection in space towards the Orion clouds where 399 lines of the molecule have been unambiguously identified. We find that the limited mm-wave laboratory data reported prior to our work require some revision. The abundance of CH3NCO in Orion is only a factor of ten below those of HNCO and CH3CN. Unlike the molecular abundances in the coma of comets, which correlate with those of warm molecular clouds, molecular abundances in the gas phase in Orion are only weakly correlated with those measured on the comet surface. We also compare our abundances with those derived recently for this molecule towards Sgr B2 (Halfen et al. 2015, ApJ, 812, L5). A more accurate abundance of CH3NCO is provided for this cloud based on our extensive laboratory work.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01310394
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 2, 2016 - 3:12:42 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 12, 2020 - 3:13:52 AM

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J. Cernicharo, Z. Kisiel, B. Tercero, L. Kolesniková, I. R. Medvedev, et al.. A rigorous detection of interstellar CH3NCO: An important missing species in astrochemical networks. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2016, 587, pp.L4. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201527531⟩. ⟨hal-01310394⟩

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