ALMA and ROSINA detections of phosphorus-bearing molecules: the interstellar thread between star-forming regions and comets

Rivilla, V M; Drozdovskaya, M N; Altwegg, K; Caselli, P; Beltrán, M T; Fontani, F; van der Tak, F F S; Cesaroni, R; Vasyunin, A; Rubin, M; Lique, F; Marinakis, S; Testi, L (2020). ALMA and ROSINA detections of phosphorus-bearing molecules: the interstellar thread between star-forming regions and comets. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 492(1), pp. 1180-1198. Oxford University Press 10.1093/mnras/stz3336

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To understand how Phosphorus-bearing molecules are formed in star-forming regions, we have analysed ALMA observations of PN and PO towards the massive star-forming region AFGL 5142, combined with a new analysis of the data of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken with the ROSINA instrument onboard Rosetta. The ALMA maps show that the emission of PN and PO arises from several spots associated with low-velocity gas with narrow linewidths in the cavity walls of a bipolar outflow. PO is more abundant than PN in most of the spots, with the PO/PN ratio increasing as a function of the distance to the protostar. Our data favor a formation scenario in which shocks sputter phosphorus from the surface of dust grains, and gas-phase photochemistry induced by UV photons from the protostar allows efficient formation of the two species in the cavity walls. Our analysis of the ROSINA data has revealed that PO is the main carrier of P in the comet, with PO/PN>10. Since comets may have delivered a significant amount of prebiotic material to the early Earth, this finding suggests that PO could contribute significantly to the phosphorus reservoir during the dawn of our planet. There is evidence that PO was already in the cometary ices prior to the birth of the Sun, so the chemical budget of the comet might be inherited from the natal environment of the Solar System, which is thought to be a stellar cluster including also massive stars.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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:

Drozdovskaya, Maria Nikolayevna; Altwegg, Kathrin and Rubin, Martin

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

0035-8711

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Danielle Zemp

Date Deposited:

05 May 2020 13:35

Last Modified:

05 Aug 2020 14:35

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/mnras/stz3336

ArXiv ID:

1911.11647v1

Additional Information:

Members of the ROSINA Team from Bern: H. Balsiger, S. Gasc, T. Sémon, C.-Y. Tzou

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.142624

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/142624

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