HCO$^+$ IN THE ENVELOPES OF OXYGEN-RICH STARS: EVALUATING THE ROLE OF ION-MOLECULE CHEMISTRY IN CIRCUMSTELLAR GAS
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Publisher:Ohio State University
The role of ion-molecule chemistry is not well understood. Theory has predicted HCO$^+$ as one of the most abundant detectable ions in oxygen-rich envelopes. However, there has never been a conclusive detection of HCO$^+$ in any circumstellar sources. Here we present the results of millimeter and submillimeter observations of the cation HCO$^+$ around evolved oxygen-rich stars. In recent observations, HCO$^+$ has been detected in the circumstellar shell of the oxygen-rich supergiant VY Canis Majoris. Further observations were conducted around the oxygen-rich stars IK Tau, NML Cyg, W Hya and TX Cam. Abundances of this molecule in these sources and implications for circumstellar chemistry will be discussed.
Author Institution: University of Arizona, Steward Observatory, 933 N. Cherry Ave, Arizona
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