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Hot corinos in NGC 1333-IRAS4B and IRAS2A

Abstract : Context: Complex organic molecules have been detected in massive hot cores for over two decades, and only recently in three hot corinos (the inner regions surrounding Sun-like protostars, where the dust temperature exceeds 100 K). Since hot corinos have sizes of ~100 AU (i.e., of the order of the extent of the Solar System), it is particularly relevant to understand whether they are common and to identify the formation route(s) of complex organic molecules. Much has yet to be learned on this topic, since even recent models predicted it was not possible to form these molecules in low-mass protostars. Aims: We aim to enlarge the number of known hot corinos and carry out a first comparative study with hot cores. The ultimate goal is to understand whether complex organic molecules form in the gas phase or on grain surfaces, and what the possible key parameters are. Methods: We observed millimeter rotational transitions of HCOOH, HCOOCH3 CH_3OCH3 CH_3CN and C_2H_5CN in a sample of low-mass protostars with the IRAM-30 m. Using the rotational diagram method coupled with the information about the sources' structure, we calculate the abundances of the observed molecules. To interpret these abundances, we review the proposed formation processes of the above molecules. Results: We report the detection of HCOOCH3 and/or CH_3CN towards NGC 1333-IRAS4B and NGC 1333-IRAS2A. We find that abundance ratios of O-bearing molecules to methanol or formaldehyde in hot corinos are comparable and about unity, and are relatively (depending on how the ratios are determined) higher than those in hot cores and in Galactic center clouds. Conclusions: .So far, complex organic molecules were detected in all the hot corinos where they were searched for, suggesting that it is a common phase for low-mass protostars. While some evidence points to grain-surface synthesis (either in the cold or warm-up phase) of these molecules (in particular for HCOOH and HCOOCH_3), the present data do not allow us to disregard gas-phase formation. More observational, laboratory, and theoretical studies are required to improve our understanding of hot corinos. Appendix is only available in electronic form at
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - 12:28:26 PM
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S. Bottinelli, C. Ceccarelli, J. P. Williams, B. Lefloch. Hot corinos in NGC 1333-IRAS4B and IRAS2A. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2007, 463, pp.601. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361:20065139⟩. ⟨hal-00398305⟩



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