OBSERVATIONS OF FORMIC ACID TOWARD GALACTIC HOT MOLECULAR CORES

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Title: OBSERVATIONS OF FORMIC ACID TOWARD GALACTIC HOT MOLECULAR CORES
Creators: Liu, Sheng-Yuan; Mehringer, David M.; Snyder, L. E.
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: Ohio State University
Abstract: Formic acid shares structural elements with the common interstellar molecule methyl formate $(HCOOCH_{3})$ and the elusive biomolecule acetic acid $(CH_{3}COOH)$. It is the simplest organic acid, but it has only been identified in astronomical sources by fairly weak lines in single-element telescope surveys. In order to study the successive formation of biomolecules in the ISM, we carried out a survey of HCOOH toward galactic hot molecular cores with the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (BIMA) Array. Up to five transitions with rest frequencies near 87 GHz have been detected simultaneously in three sources: Sgr B2(N), Orion, and W51, HCOOH was found to have an excitation temperature of at least 100 K. The formation of HCOOH is probably related to grain-surface chemistry in hot cores. Abundance comparisons with other molecules such as $HCOOCH_{3}$ and ethyl cyanide $(C_{2}H_{5}CN)$ will be discussed. This work was partially funded by NSF AST96 - 13999 and the University of Illinois.
Description: Author Institution: Department of Astronomy, University of Illinois
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/19198
Other Identifiers: 1999-FA-05
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