Efficient Methanol Production on the Dark Side of a Prestellar Core

Jorma Harju, Jaime E. Pineda, Anton I. Vasyunin, Paola Caselli, Stella S.R. Offner, Alyssa A. Goodman, Mika Juvela, Olli Sipila, Alexandre Faure, Romane Le Gal, Pierre Hily-Blant, Jo o. Alves, Luca Bizzocchi, Andreas Burkert, Hope Chen, Rachel K. Friesen, Rolf Güsten, Philip C. Myers, Anna Punanova, Claire RistErik Rosolowsky, Stephan Schlemmer, Yancy Shirley, Silvia Spezzano, Charlotte Vastel, Laurent Wiesenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array maps of the starless molecular cloud core Ophiuchus/H-MM1 in the lines of deuterated ammonia (ortho-NH2 D), methanol (CH3 OH), and sulfur monoxide (SO). The dense core is seen in NH2 D emission, whereas the CH3 OH and SO distributions form a halo surrounding the core. Because methanol is formed on grain surfaces, its emission highlights regions where desorption from grains is particularly efficient. Methanol and sulfur monoxide are most abundant in a narrow zone that follows the eastern side of the core. This side is sheltered from the stronger external radiation field coming from the west. We show that photodissociation on the illuminated side can give rise to an asymmetric methanol distribution but that the stark contrast observed in H-MM1 is hard to explain without assuming enhanced desorption on the shaded side. The region of the brightest emission has a wavy structure that rolls up at one end. This is the signature of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability occurring in sheared flows. We suggest that in this zone, methanol and sulfur are released as a result of grain-grain collisions induced by shear vorticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume895
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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