Chemistry and dynamics in pre-protostellar cores

Jeong Eun Lee, Neal J. Evans, Yancy L. Shirley, Ken'ichi Tatematsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


We have compared molecular-line emission to dust continuum emission and modeled molecular lines using Monte Carlo simulations in order to study the depletion of molecules and the ionization fraction in three pre-protostellar cores, L1512, L1544, and L1689B. L1512 is much less dense than L1544 and L1689B, which have similar density structures. L1689B has a different environment from those of L1512 and L1544. We used density and temperature profiles, calculated by modeling dust continuum emission in the submillimeter, for modeling molecular-line profiles. In addition, we have used molecular-line profiles and maps observed in several different molecules toward the three cores. We find a considerable diversity in chemical state among the three cores. The molecules include those sensitive to different timescales of chemical evolution such as CCS, the isotopes of CO and HCO+, DCO+, and N 2H+. The CO molecule is significantly depleted in L1512 and L1544 but not in L1689B. CCS may be in the second enhancement of its abundance in L1512 and L1544 because of the significant depletion of CO molecules. N2H+ might already be starting to be depleted in L1512, but it traces very well the distribution of dust emission in L1544. On the other hand, L1689B may be so young that N2H+ has not reached its maximum yet. The ionization fraction has been calculated using H13CO+ and DCO+. The result shows that the ionization fraction is similar toward the centers of the three cores. This study suggests that chemical evolution depends on the absolute timescale during which a core stays in a given environment as well as its density structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-808
Number of pages20
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrochemistry
  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: molecules
  • Radio lines: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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