Subarcsecond resolution observations of warm water towards three deeply embedded low-mass protostars

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Water is present during all stages of star formation: as ice in the cold outer parts of protostellar envelopes and dense inner regions of circumstellar disks, and as gas in the envelopes close to the protostars, in the upper layers of circumstellar disks and in regions of powerful outflows and shocks. In this paper we probe the mechanism regulating the warm gas-phase water abundance in the innermost hundred AU of deeply embedded (Class~0) low-mass protostars, and investigate its chemical relationship to other molecular species during these stages. Millimeter wavelength thermal emission from the para-H2-18O 3(1,3)-2(2,0) (Eu=203.7 K) line is imaged at high angular resolution (0.75"; 190 AU) with the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer towards the deeply embedded low-mass protostars NGC 1333-IRAS2A and NGC 1333-IRAS4A. Compact H2-18O emission is detected towards IRAS2A and one of the components in the IRAS4A binary; in addition CH3OCH3, C2H5CN, and SO2 are detected. Extended water emission is seen towards IRAS2A, possibly associated with the outflow. The detections in all systems suggests that the presence of water on 96 %) is frozen out on dust grains at these scales. The derived abundances of CH3OCH3 and SO2 relative to H2-18O are comparable for all sources pointing towards similar chemical processes at work. In contrast, the C2H5CN abundance relative to H2-18O is significantly lower in IRAS2A, which could be due to different chemistry in the sources.
TidsskriftAstronomy & Astrophysics
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2012

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