First Detection of Interstellar S2H

Asunción Fuente, Javier R. Goicoechea, Jerome Pety, Romane Le Gal, Rafael Martín-Doménech, Pierre Gratier, Viviana Guzmán, Evelyne Roueff, Jean Christophe Loison, Guillermo M. Muñoz-Caro, Valentine Wakelam, Maryvonne Gerin, Pablo Riviere-Marichalar, Thomas Vidal. 2017. First Detection of Interstellar S2H. Astrophysical Journal Letters 851, 2, DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/aaa01b

We present the first detection of gas-phase S2H in the Horsehead, a moderately UV-irradiated nebula. This confirms the presence of doubly sulfuretted species in the interstellar medium and opens a new challenge for sulfur chemistry. The observed S2H abundance is similar to 5 x 10(-11), only a factor of 4-6 lower than that of the widespread H2S molecule. H2S and S2H are efficiently formed on the UV-irradiated icy grain mantles. We performed ice irradiation experiments to determine the H2S and S2H photodesorption yields. The obtained values are similar to 1.2 x 10(-3) and < 1 x 10(-5) molecules per incident photon for H2S and S2H, respectively. Our upper limit to the S2H photodesorption yield suggests that photodesorption is not a competitive mechanism to release the S2H molecules to the gas phase. Other desorption mechanisms such as chemical desorption, cosmic-ray desorption, and grain shattering can increase the gaseous S2H abundance to some extent. Alternatively, S2H can be formed via gas-phase reactions involving gaseous H2S and the abundant ions S+ and SH+. The detection of S2H in this nebula therefore could be the result of the coexistence of an active grain-surface chemistry and gaseous photochemistry.

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