A spectroscopic survey of Orion KL between 41.5 and 50 GHz

Rizzo, J. R., Tercero, B., Cernicharo, J. 2017. A spectroscopic survey of Orion KL between 41.5 and 50 GHz. Astronomy and Astrophysics 605, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201629936

The nearby massive star-forming region Orion KL is one of the richest molecular reservoirs known in our Galaxy. The region hosts newly formed protostars, and the strong interaction between their radiation and their outflows with the environment results in a series of complex chemical processes leading to a high diversity of interstellar tracers. The region is therefore one of the most frequently observed sources, and the site where many molecular species have been discovered for the first time.

Aims. Current availability of wideband backends permits us to efficiently perform spectral surveys in the entire mm-range. We aim to study the almost unexplored 7 mm window in Orion KL to obtain an unbiased chemical picture of the region.

Methods. In this paper we present a sensitive spectral survey of Orion KL, made with one of the 34 m antennas of the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex in Robledo de Chavela, Spain. The spectral range surveyed is from 41.5 to 50 GHz, with a frequency spacing of 180 kHz (equivalent to approximate to 1.2 km s(-1), depending on the exact frequency). The rms achieved ranges from 8 to 12 mK.

Results. The spectrum is dominated by the J = 1 -> 0 SiO maser lines and by radio recombination lines (RRLs), which were detected up to Delta n = 11. Above a 3 sigma level, we identified 66 RRLs and 161 molecular lines corresponding to 39 isotopologues from 20 molecules; a total of 18 lines remain unidentified, two of them above a 5 sigma level. Results of radiative modelling of the detected molecular lines (excluding masers) are presented.

Conclusions. At this frequency range, this is the most sensitive survey and also the one with the largest bandwidth. Although some complex molecules like CH3CH2CN and CH2CHCN arise from the hot core, most of the detected molecules originate from the low temperature components in Orion KL.

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