Gas phase Elemental abundances in Molecular cloudS (GEMS): I. the prototypical dark cloud TMC 1

A. Fuente, D. G. Navarro, P. Caselli, M. Gerin, C. Kramer, E. Roueff, T. Alonso-Albi, R. Bachiller, S. Cazaux, More Authors

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34 Citations (Scopus)


GEMS is an IRAM 30 m Large Program whose aim is determining the elemental depletions and the ionization fraction in a set of prototypical star-forming regions. This paper presents the first results from the prototypical dark cloud Taurus molecular cloud (TMC) 1. Extensive millimeter observations have been carried out with the IRAM 30 m telescope (3 and 2 mm) and the 40 m Yebes telescope (1.3 cm and 7 mm) to determine the fractional abundances of CO, HCO + , HCN, CS, SO, HCS + , and N 2 H + in three cuts which intersect the dense filament at the well-known positions TMC 1-CP, TMC 1-NH3, and TMC 1-C, covering a visual extinction range from A V ~ 3 to ~20 mag. Two phases with differentiated chemistry can be distinguished: (i) the translucent envelope with molecular hydrogen densities of 1-5 × 10 3 cm -3 ; and (ii) the dense phase, located at A V > 10 mag, with molecular hydrogen densities >10 4 cm -3 . Observations and modeling show that the gas phase abundances of C and O progressively decrease along the C + /C/CO transition zone (A V ~ 3 mag) where C/H ~ 8 × 10 -5 and C/O ~ 0.8-1, until the beginning of the dense phase at A V ~ 10 mag. This is consistent with the grain temperatures being below the CO evaporation temperature in this region. In the case of sulfur, a strong depletion should occur before the translucent phase where we estimate an S/ H ~ (0.4-2.2) × 10 -6 , an abundance ~7-40 times lower than the solar value. A second strong depletion must be present during the formation of the thick icy mantles to achieve the values of S/H measured in the dense cold cores (S H ~ 8 × 10 -8 ). Based on our chemical modeling, we constrain the value of ζ H 2 to ~(0.5-1.8) × 10 -16 s -1 in the translucent cloud.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA105
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2019


  • Astrochemistry
  • ISM: abundances
  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • ISM: molecules
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: low-mass


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