First detection of NHD and ND2 in the interstellar medium - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A Year : 2020

First detection of NHD and ND2 in the interstellar medium


Context. Deuterium fractionation processes in the interstellar medium (ISM) have been shown to be highly efficient in the family of nitrogen hydrides. To date, observations were limited to ammonia (NH 2 D, NHD 2 , ND 3) and imidogen radical (ND) isotopologues. Aims. We want to explore the high frequency windows offered by the Herschel Space Observatory to search for deuterated forms of amidogen radical NH 2 and to compare the observations against the predictions of our comprehensive gas-grain chemical model. Methods. Making use of the new molecular spectroscopy data recently obtained at high frequencies for NHD and ND 2 , both isotopo-logues have been searched for in the spectral survey towards the class 0 IRAS 16293-2422, a source in which NH 3 , NH and their deuterated variants have been previously detected. We used the observations carried out with HIFI (Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared) in the framework of the key program "Chemical Herschel surveys of star forming regions" (CHESS). Results. We report the first detection of interstellar NHD and ND 2. Both species are observed in absorption against the continuum of the protostar. From the analysis of their hyperfine structure, accurate excitation temperature and column density values have been determined. The latter were combined with the column density of the parent species NH 2 to derive the deuterium fractionation in amidogen. Our findings point out a high deuteration level of amidogen radical in IRAS 16293-2422, with a deuterium enhancement about one order of magnitude higher than that predicted by earlier astrochemical models. Such a high enhancement can only be reproduced by a gas-grain chemical model if the pre-stellar phase preceding the formation of the protostellar system lasts long, of the order of one million years. Conclusions. The amidogen D/H ratio measured in the low-mass protostar IRAS 16293-2422 is comparable to the one derived for the related species imidogen and much higher than that observed for ammonia. Additional observations of these species will give more insights into the mechanism of ammonia formation and deuteration in the ISM. We finally indicate the current possibilities to further explore these species at submillimeter wavelengths.
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hal-02947863 , version 1 (24-09-2020)



M. Melosso, L. Bizzocchi, O. Sipilä, B. Giuliano, L. Dore, et al.. First detection of NHD and ND2 in the interstellar medium. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2020, 641, pp.A153. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202038490⟩. ⟨hal-02947863⟩
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