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Formaldehyde and Methanol Deuteration in Protostars: Fossils from a Past Fast High-density Pre-collapse Phase

Abstract : Extremely high deuteration of several molecules has been observed around low-mass protostars for a decade. Among them, formaldehyde and methanol present particularly high deuteration, with observations of abundant doubly and triply deuterated forms. Both species are thought to be mainly formed on interstellar grains during the low-temperature and dense pre-collapse phase by H and D atom additions on the iced CO. We present here a theoretical study of the formaldehyde and methanol deuteration obtained with our gas-grain model, GRAINOBLE. This model takes into account the multilayer nature of the mantle and explores the robustness of the results against the uncertainties of poorly constrained chemical and surface model parameters. The comparison of the model predictions with the observations leads to two major results: (1) the observed high deuteration is obtained during the last phase of the pre-collapse stage, when the density reaches ~5 × 106 cm-3, and this phase is fast, lasting only several thousands years; and (2) D and H abstraction and substitution reactions are crucial in making up the observed deuteration ratios. This work shows the power of chemical composition as a tool to reconstruct the past history of protostars.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 8:45:16 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 4:12:29 AM

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V. Taquet, C. Ceccarelli, C. Kahane. Formaldehyde and Methanol Deuteration in Protostars: Fossils from a Past Fast High-density Pre-collapse Phase. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2012, 748, ⟨10.1088/2041-8205/748/1/L3⟩. ⟨insu-03622417⟩

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