First Abundance Measurement of Organic Molecules in the Atmosphere of HH 212 Protostellar Disk

Chin-Fei Lee1,2, Claudio Codella3,4, Zhi-Yun Li5, and Sheng-Yuan Liu1
Astrophysical Journal 876, 63 Link to Article [DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab15db ]
1Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, P.O. Box 23-141, Taipei 106, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Section 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
3INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, I-50125 Firenze, Italy
4Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (IPAG), F-38000 Grenoble, France
5Astronomy Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA

HH 212 is one of the well-studied protostellar systems, showing the first vertically resolved disk with a warm atmosphere around the central protostar. Here we report a detection of nine organic molecules (including newly detected ketene, formic acid, deuterated acetonitrile, methyl formate, and ethanol) in the disk atmosphere, confirming that the disk atmosphere is, for HH 212, the chemically rich component, identified before at a lower resolution as a “hot corino.” More importantly, we report the first systematic survey and abundance measurement of organic molecules in the disk atmosphere within ~40 au of the central protostar. The relative abundances of these molecules are similar to those in the hot corinos around other protostars and in Comet Lovejoy. These molecules can be either (i) originally formed on icy grains and then desorbed into gas phase or (ii) quickly formed in the gas phase using simpler species ejected from the dust mantles. The abundances and spatial distributions of the molecules provide strong constraints on models of their formation and transport in star formation. These molecules are expected to form even more complex organic molecules needed for life and deeper observations are needed to find them.

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