Detection of interstellar hydrogen peroxide
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2011

Context. The molecular species hydrogen peroxide, HOOH, is likely to be a key ingredient in the oxygen and water chemistry in the interstellar medium. Aims. Our aim with this investigation is to determine how abundant HOOH is in the cloud core ρ Oph A. Methods. By observing several transitions of HOOH in the (sub)millimeter regime we seek to identify the molecule and also to determine the excitation conditions through a multilevel excitation analysis. Results. We have detected three spectral lines toward the SM1 position of ρ Oph A at velocity-corrected frequencies that coincide very closely with those measured from laboratory spectroscopy of HOOH. A fourth line was detected at the 4σ level. We also found through mapping observations that the HOOH emission extends (about 0.05 pc) over the densest part of the ρ Oph A cloud core. We derive an abundance of HOOH relative to that of H2 in the SM1 core of about 1 × 10-10. Conclusions. To our knowledge, this is the first reported detection of HOOH in the interstellar medium.


Per Bergman

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium

B. Parise

Max Planck-institutet

René Liseau

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Radioastronomi och astrofysik

B. Larsson

Stockholms universitet

Hans Olofsson

Chalmers, Rymd- och geovetenskap, Onsala rymdobservatorium

K. M. Menten

Max Planck-institutet

R. Güsten

Max Planck-institutet

Astronomy and Astrophysics

0004-6361 (ISSN) 1432-0746 (eISSN)

Vol. 531 L8- L8


Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi


Grundläggande vetenskaper