Nitrogen hydrides in interstellar gas towards G10.6-0.4 (W31C) and W49N
Conference poster, 2011
The PRISMAS key programme has used the HIFI instrument on board Herschel to observe interstellar nitrogen hydrides along the sight-lines towards G10.6-0.4 (W31C) and W49N in order to elucidate the production pathways leading to nitrogen bearing species. We report observations of the NH N=1-0, J=2-1 and J=1-0, ortho-NH2 111-000, ortho-NH3 10-00 and 20-10, para-NH3 21-11 transitions, and unsuccessful searches for NH+ in both sources. All detections show emission and absorption associated directly with the hot-core source itself as well as absorption by foreground material over a wide range of velocities. The NH, NH2 and NH3 spectra show strikingly similar and non-saturated absorption features, which we attribute to diffuse molecular gas. The similarity of the profiles suggest fairly uniform abundances relative to hydrogen. The derived relative and absolute abundances are discussed with reference to models of gas-phase and surface chemistry.