HCN/HNC ratio: A new chemical thermometer at 3 mm
Department of Astrophysics University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Vienna, Austria
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Published online: 7 September 2022
The gas kinetic temperature (TK) determines the physical and chemical evolution of the interstellar medium (ISM). This work explores the use of HCN/HNC (J=1–0) line ratio as new probe of the gas kinetic temperature in the molecular ISM. Based on a new set of IRAM-30m observations at 30 arcsec resolution towards Orion Nebula Cluster, we find a two-part linear correlation of the observed HCN/HNC line ratio and TK. This empirical calibration allows to obtain direct estimates of the TK values across a wide range of column densities (AV ≳ 5 mag) and up to scales of ~ 10 pc. Comparisons with additional studies highlight the potential use of the HCN/HNC line ratio as novel chemical thermometer at 3mm.
© The Authors, Published by EDP Sciences, 2022
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).