The ALMA-PILS survey: the sulphur connection between protostars and comets: IRAS 16293–2422 B and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

Drozdovskaya, Maria N; van Dishoeck, Ewine F; Jørgensen, Jes K; Calmonte, Ursina Maria; van der Wiel, Matthijs H D; Coutens, Audrey; Calcutt, Hannah; Müller, Holger S P; Bjerkeli, Per; Persson, Magnus V; Wampfler, Susanne F; Altwegg, Kathrin (2018). The ALMA-PILS survey: the sulphur connection between protostars and comets: IRAS 16293–2422 B and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 476(4), pp. 4949-4964. Oxford University Press 10.1093/mnras/sty462

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The evolutionary past of our Solar system can be pieced together by comparing analogous low-mass protostars with remnants of our Protosolar Nebula – comets. Sulphur-bearing molecules may be unique tracers of the joint evolution of the volatile and refractory components. ALMA Band 7 data from the large unbiased Protostellar Interferometric Line Survey are used to search for S-bearing molecules in the outer disc-like structure, ~60 au from IRAS 16293–2422 B, and are compared with data on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P/C–G) stemming from the ROSINA (Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis) instrument aboard Rosetta. Species such as SO₂, SO, OCS, CS, H₂CS, H₂S, and CH₃SH are detected via at least one of their isotopologues towards IRAS 16293–2422 B. The search reveals a first-time detection of OC³³S towards this source and a tentative first-time detection of C³⁶S towards a low-mass protostar. The data show that IRAS 16293–2422 B contains much more OCS than H₂S in comparison to 67P/C–G; meanwhile, the SO/SO₂ ratio is in close agreement between the two targets. IRAS 16293–2422 B has a CH₃SH/H₂CS ratio in range of that of our Solar system (differences by a factor of 0.7–5.3). It is suggested that the levels of UV radiation during the initial collapse of the systems may have varied and have potentially been higher for IRAS 16293–2422 B due to its binary nature; thereby, converting more H₂S into OCS. It remains to be conclusively tested if this also promotes the formation of S-bearing complex organics. Elevated UV levels of IRAS 16293–2422 B and a warmer birth cloud of our Solar system may jointly explain the variations between the two low-mass systems.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Calmonte, Ursina Maria, Altwegg, Kathrin


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics




Oxford University Press




Danielle Zemp

Date Deposited:

29 May 2019 18:09

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:26

Publisher DOI:





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