Abundance of HCN and its C and N isotopologues in L1498
Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, Université Grenoble-Alpes,
414 rue de la Piscine,
Grenoble Cedex 9,
3 Institut Universitaire de France, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
2 LOMC-UMR 6294, CNRS-Université du Havre, 25 rue Philippe Lebon, BP 540, 76058 Le Havre, France
Accepted: 1 March 2018
The isotopic ratio of nitrogen in nearby protoplanetary disks, recently measured in CN and HCN, indicates that a fractionated reservoir of volatile nitrogen is available at the earliest stage of comet formation. This reservoir also presents a 3:1 enrichment in 15N relative to the elemental ratio of 330, identical to that between the solar system comets and the protosun, suggesting that similar processes are responsible for the fractionation in the protosolar nebula (PSN) and in these PSN analogs. However, where, when, and how the fractionation of nitrogen takes place is an open question. Previously obtained HCN/HC15N abundance ratios suggest that HCN may already be enriched in 15N in prestellar cores, although doubts remain on these measurements, which rely on the double-isotopologue method. Here we present direct measurements of the HCN/H13CN and HCN/HC15N abundance ratios in the L1498 prestellar core based on spatially resolved spectra of HCN(1–0), (3–2), H13CN(1–0), and HC15N(1–0) rotational lines. We use state-of-the-art radiative transfer calculations using ALICO, a 1D radiative transfer code capable of treating hyperfine overlaps. From a multiwavelength analysis of dust emission maps of L1498, we derive a new physical structure of the L1498 cloud. We also use new, high-accuracy HCN-H2 hyperfine collisional rates, which enable us to quantitatively reproduce all the features seen in the line profiles of HCN(1–0) and HCN(3–2), especially the anomalous hyperfine line ratios. Special attention is devoted to derive meaningful uncertainties on the abundance ratios. The obtained values, HCN/H13CN = 45 ± 3 and HCN/HC15N = 338 ± 28, indicate that carbon is heavily fractionated in HCN, but nitrogen is not. For the H13CN/HC15N abundance ratio, our detailed study validates to some extent analyses based on the single excitation temperature assumption. Comparisons with other measurements from the literature suggest significant core-to-core variability. Furthermore, the heavy 13C enrichment we found in HCN could explain the superfractionation of nitrogen measured in solar system chondrites.
Key words: astrochemistry / radiative transfer / ISM: individual objects: L1498 / radio lines: ISM / ISM: abundances / ISM: molecules
© ESO 2018
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0;), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.