Tracing the cold and warm physico-chemical structure of deeply embedded protostars: IRAS 16293−2422 vs. VLA 1623−2417

Murillo, N. M.; van Dishoeck, E. F.; van der Wiel, M. H. D.; Jørgensen, J. K.; Drozdovskaya, Maria Nikolayevna; Calcutt, H.; Harsono, D. (2018). Tracing the cold and warm physico-chemical structure of deeply embedded protostars: IRAS 16293−2422 vs. VLA 1623−2417. Astronomy and astrophysics, 617, A120. EDP Sciences 10.1051/0004-6361/201731724

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Context. Much attention has been placed on the dust distribution in protostellar envelopes, but there are still many unanswered questions regarding the physico-chemical structure of the gas. Aims. Our aim is to start identifying the factors that determine the chemical structure of protostellar regions, by studying and comparing low-mass embedded systems in key molecular tracers. Methods. The cold and warm chemical structures of two embedded Class 0 systems, IRAS 16293−2422 and VLA 1623−2417 were characterized through interferometric observations. DCO⁺, N₂H⁺, and N₂D⁺ were used to trace the spatial distribution and physics of the cold regions of the envelope, while c-C₃H₂ and C₂H from models of the chemistry are expected to trace the warm (UV-irradiated) regions. Results. The two sources show a number of striking similarities and differences. DCO+ consistently traces the cold material at the disk-envelope interface, where gas and dust temperatures are lowered due to disk shadowing. N₂H⁺ and N₂D⁺, also tracing cold gas, show low abundances toward VLA 1623−2417, but for IRAS 16293−2422, the distribution of N2D⁺ is consistent with the same chemical models that reproduce DCO⁺. The two systems show different spatial distributions c-C₃H₂ and C₂H. For IRAS 16293−2422, c-C₃H₂ traces the outflow cavity wall, while C₂H is found in the envelope material but not the outflow cavity wall. In contrast, toward VLA 1623−2417 both molecules trace the outflow cavity wall. Finally, hot core molecules are abundantly observed toward IRAS 16293−2422 but not toward VLA 1623−2417. Conclusions. We identify temperature as one of the key factors in determining the chemical structure of protostars as seen in gaseous molecules. More luminous protostars, such as IRAS 16293−2422, will have chemical complexity out to larger distances than colder protostars, such as VLA 1623−2417. Additionally, disks in the embedded phase have a crucial role in controlling both the gas and dust temperature of the envelope, and consequently the chemical structure.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Drozdovskaya, Maria Nikolayevna


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science
500 Science > 530 Physics




EDP Sciences




Danielle Zemp

Date Deposited:

03 Jun 2019 16:23

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 23:55

Publisher DOI:





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