INTERSTELLAR UREA $[(NH_{2})_{2}CO]$

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Title: INTERSTELLAR UREA $[(NH_{2})_{2}CO]$
Creators: Snyder, L. E.; Remijan, Anthony J.; Lovas, F. J.; Friedel, D. N.; Liu, Sheng-Yuan
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Ohio State University
Abstract: In 1773, H. M. Rouelle's discovery of urea in human urine supported theories that organic chemicals could be modified by chemistry, but could only be produced through a vital force in living plants and $animals^{a}$. The theory of Vitalism was badly damaged in 1828 when Friedrich W\""{o}hler synthesized urea from inorganic starting materials. Indeed, urea was the first organic compound ever to be synthesized from inorganic compounds. Today, urea is thought to have played a significant role in prebiotic chemistry. Extraterrestrial urea was first detected in two samples of the Murchinson $meteorite^{b}$. In this paper, we report the first detection of gas-phase interstellar urea $[(NH_{2})_{2}CO]$. We used the $BIMA^{c}$ Array to detect urea emission from the hot molecular core Sgr B2(N-LMH) at $\lambda = 3 mm (9_{\ast,9}-8_{\ast,8,} 9_{\ast,8}-8_{\ast,7}$, and $10_{\ast,10}-9_{\ast,9})$, and at $\lambda = 1 mm (20_{\ast,20}-19_{\ast,19,} 20_{\ast,19}-19_{\ast,18}$, and $21_{\ast,21}-20_{\ast,20})$. We will compare the urea column density and distribution with those of other molecules of biological interest in Sgr B2(N-LMH).
Description: $^{a}$Current Address: Optical Technology Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD $20899-8441 {^{b}}$Current address: Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, P. O. Box 23-141, 106 Taipei, Taiwan, ROC ${^{a}}Fairall$ 1996, http://smallfry.dmu.ac.uk/chem/mom/urea/urea.html ${^{b}}$Hayatsu et al. 1975, Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta, 39, 471 ${^{c}}$Operated by the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Illinois, and the University of Maryland with support from the National Science Foundation
Author Institution: Department of Astronomy, The University of Illinois; Astronomy Department, California Institute of Technology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/21068
Other Identifiers: 2003-WE-05
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