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06 August 2020
 
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Discovery of interstellar mercapto radicals (SH) with the GREAT instrument on SOFIA
D. A. Neufeld ; E. Falgarone ; M. Gerin ; B. Godard ; E. Herbst ; G. Pineau des Forêts ; A. I. Vasyunin ; R. Güsten ; H. Wiesemeyer ; O. Ricken ;
Date 14 Feb 2012
AbstractWe report the first detection of interstellar mercapto radicals, obtained along the sight-line to the submillimeter continuum source W49N. We have used the GREAT instrument on SOFIA to observe the 1383 GHz Doublet Pi 3/2 J = 5/2 - 3/2 lambda doublet in the upper sideband of the L1 receiver. The resultant spectrum reveals SH absorption in material local to W49N, as well as in foreground gas, unassociated with W49N, that is located along the sight-line. For the foreground material at velocities in the range 37 - 44 km/s with respect to the local standard of rest, we infer a total SH column density ~ 2.6 E+12 cm-2, corresponding to an abundance of ~ 7 E-9 relative to H2, and yielding an SH/H2S abundance ratio ~ 0.13. The observed SH/H2S abundance ratio is much smaller than that predicted by standard models for the production of SH and H2S in turbulent dissipation regions and shocks, and suggests that the endothermic neutral-neutral reaction SH + H2 -> H2S + H must be enhanced along with the ion-neutral reactions believed to produce CH+ and SH+ in diffuse molecular clouds.
Source arXiv, 1202.3142
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