N2H+ in Orion: Chemical clues to the dynamics of the quiescent gas

M. Womack, L. M. Ziurys, S. Wyckoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Measurements of the J = 1 → 0 transition of N2H+ have been obtained toward OMC-1 with high spectral resolution, using the NRAO 12 m telescope. In contrast with HCO+, N2H+ spectra exclusively exhibit the quiescent extended ridge gas toward Orion-KL. In fact, N2H+ appears to diminish in column density near the KL/IRc2 region, where many other molecules are quite abundant. Toward KL, the spectrum of N2H+ exhibits two narrow velocity components. One component lies to the northeast of Orion-KL with VLSR ∼9.5 km s-1, and the other lies southwest of KL with VLSR ∼7.2 km s-1. These data suggest that two clouds may be present in the region. Thus, N2H+ appears to be an excellent tracer of ambient, quiescent material. The velocity structure observed in this molecule toward KL may be related to the star formation observed in the Orion region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L99-L102
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Abundances
  • Interstellar: molecules
  • Nebulae: Orion Nebula
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'N<sub>2</sub>H<sup>+</sup> in Orion: Chemical clues to the dynamics of the quiescent gas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this