S. Zeng, D. Quénard, I. Jiménez-Serra J. Martín-Pintado, V. M. Rivilla, L. Testi, and R. Martín-Doménech
reported on the
First Detection of the Pre-biotic Molecule Glycolonitrile (HOCH<sub>2</sub>CN) in the Interstellar Medium
Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 484, L43–L48 (2019).
Glycolonitrile, also known as hydroxyacetonitrile (HAN), is a sibling of aminoacetonitrile, that was detected more than 10 years ago toward Sagittarius B2(N). HAN was detected in archival ALMA data if the solar-type protostar IRAS 16293–2422 B, were previously methyl chloride was detected. Several lines were detected at 3, 2, and 1.3 mm. Excitation temperatures point at two different temperature regimes, a colder component of around 40 K sampled by transitions with low and intermediate upper state energies and a lukewarm component of about 150 K sampled by transitions with intermediate and higher upper state energies. The lukewarm component is typical for the colder parts of the warm and very dense hot corino, whereas the cold component is typical for the less dense and warmer part of the envelope of IRAS 16293–2422. ALMA is not sensitive to the even lesser dense and cold part of the envelope.
Queen Mary University of London issued a press release.

Contributor(s): H. S. P. Müller; 01, 2019

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