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ALMA ACA study of the H2S/OCS ratio in low-mass protostars

Kushwahaa, Tanya, Drozdovskaya, Maria N., Tychoniec, Lukasz and Tabone, Benoît 2023. ALMA ACA study of the H2S/OCS ratio in low-mass protostars. Astronomy & Astrophysics 672 , A122. 10.1051/0004-6361/202245097

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Context. The identification of the main sulfur reservoir on its way from the diffuse interstellar medium to the cold dense star-forming cores and, ultimately, to protostars is a long-standing problem. Despite sulfur’s astrochemical relevance, the abundance of S-bearing molecules in dense cores and regions around protostars is still insufficiently constrained. Aims. The goal of this investigation is to derive the gas-phase H2S/OCS ratio for several low-mass protostars, which could provide crucial information about the physical and chemical conditions in the birth cloud of Sun-like stars. This may also shed new light onto the main sulfur reservoir in low-mass star-forming systems. Methods. Using Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) Atacama Compact Array (ACA) Band 6 observations, we searched for H2S, OCS, and their isotopologs in ten Class 0/I protostars with different source properties such as age, mass, and environmental conditions. The sample contains IRAS 16293-2422 A, IRAS 16293-2422 B, NGC 1333-IRAS 4A, RCrA IRS7B, Per-B1-c, BHR71-IRS1, Per-emb-25, NGC 1333-IRAS4B, Ser-SMM3, and TMC1. A local thermal equilibrium (LTE) model is used to fit synthetic spectra to the detected lines and to derive the column densities based solely on optically thin lines. Results. The H2S and OCS column densities span four orders of magnitude across the sample. The H2S/OCS ratio is found to be in the range from 0.2 to above 9.7. IRAS 16293-2422 A and Ser-SMM3 have the lowest ratio, while BHR71-IRS1 has the highest. Only the H2S/OCS ratio of BHR71-IRS1 is in agreement with the ratio in comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko within the uncertainties. Conclusions. The determined gas-phase H2S/OCS ratios can be below the upper limits on the solid-state ratios by as much as one order of magnitude. The H2S/OCS ratio depends in great measure on the environment of the birth cloud, such as UV-irradiation and heating received prior to the formation of a protostar. The highly isolated birth environment (a Bok globule) of BHR71-IRS1 is hypothesized as the reason for its high gaseous H2S/OCS ratio that is due to lower rates of photoreactions and more efficient hydrogenation reactions under such dark, cold conditions. The gaseous inventory of S-bearing molecules in BHR71-IRS1 appears to be the most similar to that of interstellar ices.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: EDP Sciences
ISSN: 0004-6361
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 14 February 2023
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2023 08:05

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