P. Caselli - Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics

P. Caselli
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P. Caselli
Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics

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Astrophysics of Galaxies (45)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (27)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (4)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (3)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (2)
Physics - Chemical Physics (1)

Publications Authored By P. Caselli

We present the results of chemical modeling of complex organic molecules (COMs) under conditions typical for prestellar cores. We utilize an advanced gas-grain astrochemical model with updated gas-phase chemistry, with a multilayer approach to ice-surface chemistry and an up-to-date treatment of reactive desorption based on recent experiments of Minissale et al. (2016). Read More

Affiliations: 1School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London, 2School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary University of London, 3University College London, 4University College London, 5Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, 6Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, 7Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, 8INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, 9Institut de Plan etologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble

Nitrogen is one of the most abundant elements in the Universe and its 14N/15N isotopic ratio has the potential to provide information about the initial environment in which our Sun formed. Recent findings suggest that the Solar System may have formed in a massive cluster since the presence of short-lived radioisotopes in meteorites can only be explained by the influence of a supernova. The aim of this project is to determine the 14N/15N ratio towards a sample of cold, massive dense cores at the initial stages in their evolution. Read More

The formation of deuterated molecules is favoured at low temperatures and high densities. Therefore, the deuteration fraction D$_{frac}$ is expected to be enhanced in cold, dense prestellar cores and to decrease after protostellar birth. Previous studies have shown that the deuterated forms of species such as N2H+ (formed in the gas phase) and CH3OH (formed on grain surfaces) can be used as evolutionary indicators and to constrain their dominant formation processes and time-scales. Read More

We present an overview of the first data release (DR1) and first-look science from the Green Bank Ammonia Survey (GAS). GAS is a Large Program at the Green Bank Telescope to map all Gould Belt star-forming regions with $A_V \gtrsim 7$ mag visible from the northern hemisphere in emission from NH$_3$ and other key molecular tracers. This first release includes the data for four regions in Gould Belt clouds: B18 in Taurus, NGC 1333 in Perseus, L1688 in Ophiuchus, and Orion A North in Orion. Read More

Studying the molecular component of the interstellar medium in metal-poor galaxies has been challenging because of the faintness of carbon monoxide emission, the most common proxy of H2. Here we present new detections of molecular gas at low metallicities, and assess the physical conditions in the gas through various CO transitions for 8 galaxies. For one, NGC 1140 (Z/Zsun ~ 0. Read More

The temperature of interstellar dust particles is of great importance to astronomers. It plays a crucial role in the thermodynamics of interstellar clouds, because of the gas-dust collisional coupling. It is also a key parameter in astrochemical studies that governs the rate at which molecules form on dust. Read More

Affiliations: 1Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany, 2Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany, 3I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany, 4I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany, 5Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany, 6Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland, 7Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany, 8I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany, 9I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany, 10Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge MA, USA, 11I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany, 12I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany

We report on the detection of the ground-state rotational line of ortho-D2H+ at 1.477 THz (203 micron) using the German REceiver for Astronomy at Terahertz frequencies (GREAT) onboard the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The line is seen in absorption against far-infrared continuum from the protostellar binary IRAS 16293-2422 in Ophiuchus. Read More

HOCO$^+$ is a polar molecule that represents a useful proxy for its parent molecule CO$_2$, which is not directly observable in the cold interstellar medium. This cation has been detected towards several lines of sight, including massive star forming regions, protostars, and cold cores. Despite the obvious astrochemical relevance, protonated CO$_2$ and its deuterated variant, DOCO$^+$, still lack an accurate spectroscopic characterisation. Read More

Aims. We investigate the effect of chemistry on the stability of starless cores against gravitational collapse. Methods. Read More

Affiliations: 1Dept. of Astronomy, Yale University, USA, 2Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, USA, 3Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, 4INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy, 5European Southern Observatory, 6Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Germany

We present high resolution (0.2", 1000 AU) ALMA observations of massive infrared dark cloud clump, G028.37+00. Read More

Previous studies show that the physical structures and kinematics of a region depend significantly on the ionisation fraction. In this paper, we extend our previous studies of the effect of ionisation fractions on star formation to clouds that include both non-ideal magnetohydrodynamics and turbulence. We aim to quantify the importance of a treatment of the ionisation fraction in turbulent magnetised media and investigate the effect of turbulence on shaping the clouds and filaments before star formation sets in. Read More

The detection of organic molecules with increasing complexity and potential biological relevance is opening the possibility to understand the formation of the building blocks of life in the interstellar medium. One of the families of molecules with astrobiological interest are the esters, whose simplest member, methyl formate, is rather abundant in star-forming regions. The next step in the chemical complexity of esters is ethyl formate, C$_2$H$_5$OCHO. Read More

We present results from a deep sub-millimeter survey in the Serpens Main and Serpens/G3-G6 clusters, conducted with the Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array (SCUBA-2) at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. We have combined Herschel PACS far-infrared photometry, sub-millimeter continuum and molecular gas line observations, with the aim to conduct a detailed multi-wavelength characterization of `proto-brown dwarf' candidates in Serpens. We have performed continuum and line radiative transfer modeling, and have considered various classification schemes to understand the structure and the evolutionary stage of the system. Read More

Although surveys of infall motions in dense cores have been carried out for years, few surveys have focused on mapping infall across cores using multiple spectral line observations. To fill this gap, we present IRAM 30-m Telescope maps of N2H+(1-0), DCO+(2-1), DCO+(3-2), and HCO+(3-2) emission towards two prestellar cores (L492 and L694-2) and one protostellar core (L1521F). We find that the measured infall velocity varies with position across each core and choice of molecular line, likely as a result of radial variations in core chemistry and dynamics. Read More

Because of the very peculiar conditions of chemistry in many astrophysical gases (low densities, mostly low temperatures, kinetics-dominated chemical evolution), great efforts have been devoted to study molecular signatures and chemical evolution. While experiments are being performed in many laboratories, it appears that the efforts directed towards theoretical works are not as strong. This report deals with the present status of chemical physics/physical chemistry theory, for the qualitative and quantitative understanding of kinetics of molecular scattering, being it reactive or inelastic. Read More

High levels of deuterium fraction in N$_2$H$^+$ are observed in some pre-stellar cores. Single-zone chemical models find that the timescale required to reach observed values ($D_{\rm frac}^{{\rm N}_2{\rm H}^+} \equiv {\rm N}_2{\rm D}^+/{\rm N}_2{\rm H}^+ \gtrsim 0.1$) is longer than the free-fall time, possibly ten times longer. Read More

Affiliations: 1Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, USA, 2Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, USA, 3Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, 4INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy, 5Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, USA, 6Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Germany

We carry out an ALMA $\rm N_2D^+$(3-2) and 1.3~mm continuum survey towards 32 high mass surface density regions in seven Infrared Dark Clouds with the aim of finding massive starless cores, which may be the initial conditions for the formation of massive stars. Cores showing strong $\rm N_2D^+$(3-2) emission are expected to be highly deuterated and indicative of early, potentially pre-stellar stages of star formation. Read More

Affiliations: 1Queen Mary University of London, UK, 2Max-Planck-Institut fur Extraterrestrische Physik, Germany, 3Max-Planck-Institut fur Extraterrestrische Physik, Germany, 4Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid, Spain, 5Instituto de Radioastronomia Milimetrica, Spain, 6University College London, UK, 7European Southern Observatory, Germany, 8Universite de Toulouse, 9Univ. Grenoble Alpes, 10Observatorio Astronomico Nacional, Spain

The detection of complex organic molecules (COMs) toward cold sources such as pre-stellar cores (with T<10 K), has challenged our understanding of the formation processes of COMs in the interstellar medium. Recent modelling on COM chemistry at low temperatures has provided new insight into these processes predicting that COM formation depends strongly on parameters such as visual extinction and the level of CO freeze out. We report deep observations of COMs toward two positions in the L1544 pre-stellar core: the dense, highly-extinguished continuum peak with Av>=30 mag within the inner 2700 au; and a low-density shell with average Av~7. Read More

Massive stars, multiple stellar systems and clusters are born from the gravitational collapse of massive dense gaseous clumps, and the way these systems form strongly depends on how the parent clump fragments into cores during collapse. Numerical simulations show that magnetic fields may be the key ingredient in regulating fragmentation. Here we present ALMA observations at ~0. Read More

High-mass stars shape the interstellar medium in galaxies, and yet, largely because the initial conditions are poorly constrained, we do not know how they form. One possibility is that high-mass stars and star clusters form at the junction of filamentary networks, referred to as 'hubs'. In this letter we present the complex anatomy of a protocluster hub within an Infrared Dark Cloud (IRDC), G035. Read More

In a previous study of the L1157 B1 shocked cavity, a comparison between NH$_3$(1$_0$-$0_0$) and H$_2$O(1$_{\rm 10}$--1$_{\rm 01}$) transitions showed a striking difference in the profiles, with H$_2$O emitting at definitely higher velocities. This behaviour was explained as a result of the high-temperature gas-phase chemistry occurring in the postshock gas in the B1 cavity of this outflow. If the differences in behaviour between ammonia and water are indeed a consequence of the high gas temperatures reached during the passage of a shock, then one should find such differences to be ubiquitous among chemically rich outflows. Read More

Ionization-recombination balance in dense interstellar and circumstellar environments is a key factor for a variety of important physical processes, such as chemical reactions, dust charging and coagulation, coupling of the gas with magnetic field and development of instabilities in protoplanetary disks. We determine a critical gas density above which the recombination of electrons and ions on the grain surface dominates over the gas-phase recombination. For this regime, we present a self-consistent analytical model which allows us to exactly calculate abundances of charged species in dusty gas, without making assumptions on the grain charge distribution. Read More

Dense cloud cores present chemical differentiation due to the different distribution of C-bearing and N-bearing molecules, the latter being less affected by freeze-out onto dust grains. In this letter we show that two C-bearing molecules, CH$_3$OH and $c$-C$_3$H$_2$, present a strikingly different (complementary) morphology while showing the same kinematics toward the prestellar core L1544. After comparing their distribution with large scale H$_2$ column density N(H$_2$) map from the Herschel satellite, we find that these two molecules trace different environmental conditions in the surrounding of L1544: the $c$-C$_3$H$_2$ distribution peaks close to the southern part of the core, where the surrounding molecular cloud has a N(H$_2$) sharp edge, while CH$_3$OH mainly traces the northern part of the core, where N(H$_2$) presents a shallower tail. Read More

Giant molecular clouds contain supersonic turbulence that can locally heat small fractions of gas to over 100 K. We run shock models for low-velocity, C-type shocks propagating into gas with densities between 10^3 and 10^5 cm^(-3) and find that CO lines are the most important cooling lines. Comparison to photodissociation region (PDR) models indicates that mid-J CO lines (J = 8-7 and higher) should be dominated by emission from shocked gas. Read More

Aims. We aim to understand the high cyclic-to-linear $\rm C_3H_2$ ratio ($32 \pm 4$) observed toward L1544 by Spezzano et al. (2016). Read More

Phosphorus is a crucial element in biochemistry, especially the P-O bond, which is key for the formation of the backbone of the deoxyribonucleic acid. So far, PO has only been detected towards the envelope of evolved stars, and never towards star-forming regions. We report the first detections of PO towards two massive star-forming regions, W51 e1/e2 and W3(OH), using data from the IRAM 30m telescope. Read More

The presence of dust can strongly affect the chemical composition of the interstellar medium. We model the chemistry in photodissociation regions (PDRs) using both gas-phase and dust-phase chemical reactions. Our aim is to determine the chemical compositions of the interstellar medium (gas/dust/ice) in regions with distinct (molecular) gas densities that are exposed to radiation fields with different intensities. Read More

Ammonia and its deuterated isotopologues probe physical conditions in dense molecular cloud cores. With the aim of testing the current understanding of the spin-state chemistry of these molecules, we observed spectral lines of NH3, NH2D, NHD2, ND3, and N2D+ towards a dense, starless core in Ophiuchus with the APEX, GBT, and IRAM 30-m telescopes. The observations were interpreted using a gas-grain chemistry model combined with radiative transfer calculations. Read More

Aims. We aim to investigate whether a multilayer ice model can be as successful as a bulk ice model in reproducing the observed abundances of various deuterated gas-phase species toward starless cores. Methods. Read More

Phosphorus is a crucial element for the development of life, but so far P-bearing molecules have been detected only in a few astrophysical objects, hence its interstellar chemistry is almost totally unknown. Here we show new detections of phosphorus nitride in a sample of dense cores in different evolutionary stages of the intermediate- and high-mass star formation process: starless, with protostellar objects, and with ultracompact HII regions. All detected PN line widths are smaller than ~5 km/s , and they arise from regions associated with kinetic temperatures smaller than 100 K. Read More

Hydrides are simple compounds containing one or a few hydrogen atoms bonded to a heavier atom. They are fundamental precursor molecules in cosmic chemistry and many hydride ions have become observable in high quality for the first time thanks to the Herschel Space Observatory. Ionized hydrides, such as CH+ and OH+, and also HCO+ that affect the chemistry of molecules such as water, provide complementary information on irradiation by far UV (FUV) or X-rays and gas temperature. Read More

Infrared Dark Clouds (IRDCs) are cold, dense regions that are usually found within Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs). Ongoing star formation within IRDCs is typically still deeply embedded within the surrounding molecular gas. Characterising the properties of relatively quiescent IRDCs may therefore help us to understand the earliest phases of the star formation process. Read More

It has been shown that a realistic level of magnetization of dense molecular cloud cores can suppress the formation of a rotationally supported disk (RSD) through catastrophic magnetic braking in the axisymmetric ideal MHD limit. In this study, we present conditions for the formation of RSDs through non-ideal MHD effects computed self-consistently from an equilibrium chemical network. We find that removing from the standard MRN distribution the large population of very small grains (VSGs) of ~10 $\AA$ to few 100 $\AA$ that dominate the coupling of the bulk neutral matter to the magnetic field increases the ambipolar diffusivity by ~1--2 orders of magnitude at densities below 10$^{10}$ cm$^{-3}$. Read More

Affiliations: 1Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and UK ALMA Regional Centre Node, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 2Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and UK ALMA Regional Centre Node, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 3INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Firenze, Italy, 4INAF - IRA & Italian ALMA Regional Centre Bologna, Italy, 5Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany, 6Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge & Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, 7Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Granada, Spain, 8European Southern Observatory, 9INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Firenze, Italy, 10Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, London, UK, 11European Southern Observatory, 12Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK, 13INAF - IRA & Italian ALMA Regional Centre Bologna, Italy, 14INAF - IRA & Italian ALMA Regional Centre Bologna, Italy, 15Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, 16Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and UK ALMA Regional Centre Node, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK, 17INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Firenze, Italy, 18INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Bologna, Italy, 19Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, London, UK, 20Square Kilometre Array Organisation, Cheshire, UK

We discuss the science drivers for ALMA Band 2 which spans the frequency range from 67 to 90 GHz. The key science in this frequency range are the study of the deuterated molecules in cold, dense, quiescent gas and the study of redshifted emission from galaxies in CO and other species. However, Band 2 has a range of other applications which are also presented. Read More

We report the results of an HCO+ (3-2) and N2D+ (3-2) molecular line survey performed toward 91 dense cores in the Perseus molecular cloud using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, to identify the fraction of starless and protostellar cores with systematic radial motions. We quantify the HCO+ asymmetry using a dimensionless asymmetry parameter $\delta_v$, and identify 20 cores with significant blue or red line asymmetries in optically-thick emission indicative of collapsing or expanding motions, respectively. We separately fit the HCO+ profiles with an analytic collapse model and determine contraction (expansion) speeds toward 22 cores. Read More

We present ALMA follow-up observations of two massive, early-stage core candidates, C1-N & C1-S, in Infrared Dark Cloud (IRDC) G028.37+00.07, which were previously identified by their N2D+(3-2) emission and show high levels of deuteration of this species. Read More

The 1$_{11}$-1$_{01}$ lines of ortho and para--NH$_2$D (o/p-NH$_2$D), respectively at 86 and 110 GHz, are commonly observed to provide constraints on the deuterium fractionation in the interstellar medium. In cold regions, the hyperfine structure due to the nitrogen ($^{14}$N) nucleus is resolved. To date, this splitting is the only one which is taken into account in the NH$_2$D column density estimates. Read More

Infrared dark clouds are kinematically complex molecular structures in the interstellar medium that can host sites of massive star formation. We present 4 square arcminute maps of the 12CO, 13CO, and C18O J = 3 to 2 lines from selected locations within the C and F (G028.37+00. Read More

Aims. We measure the deuterium fraction, RD, and the CO-depletion factor, fd, toward a number of starless and protostellar cores in the L1688 region of the Ophiuchus molecular cloud complex and search for variations based upon environmental differences across L1688. The kinematic properties of the dense gas traced by the N2H+ and N2D+ (1-0) lines are also discussed. Read More

High degrees of deuterium fractionation are commonly found in cold prestellar cores and in the envelopes around young protostars. As it brings strong constraints to chemical models, deuterium chemistry is often used to infer core history or molecule formation pathways. Whereas a large number of observations is available regarding interstellar deuterated stable molecules, relatively little is known about the deuteration of hydride radicals, as their fundamental rotational transitions are at high frequencies where the atmosphere is mostly opaque. Read More

In the earliest phases of star-forming clouds, stable molecular species, such as CO, are important coolants in the gas phase. Depletion of these molecules on dust surfaces affects the thermal balance of molecular clouds and with that their whole evolution. For the first time, we study the effect of grain surface chemistry (GSC) on star formation and its impact on the initial mass function (IMF). Read More

The partially deuterated linear isomer HDCCC of the ubiquitous cyclic carbene ($c$-C$_3$H$_2$) was observed in the starless cores TMC-1C and L1544 at 96.9 GHz, and a confirming line was observed in TMC-1 at 19.38 GHz. Read More

Water is an important molecule in the chemical and thermal balance of dense molecular gas, but knowing its history through-out the various stages of the star formation is a fundamental problem. Its molecular deuteration provides us with a crucial clue to its formation history. H$_2$O has recently been detected for the first time towards the prestellar core L1544 with the Herschel Space Observatory with a high spectral resolution (HIFI instrument). Read More

Affiliations: 1Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, USA, 2Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, USA, 3Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, 4INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy

To understand massive star formation requires study of its initial conditions. Two massive starless core candidates, C1-N & C1-S, have been detected in IRDC G028.37+00. Read More

This paper discusses compelling science cases for a future long-baseline interferometer operating at millimeter and centimeter wavelengths, like the proposed Next Generation Vary Large Array (ngVLA). We report on the activities of the Cradle of Life science working group, which focused on the formation of low- and high-mass stars, the formation of planets and evolution of protoplanetary disks, the physical and compositional study of Solar System bodies, and the possible detection of radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. We propose 19 scientific projects based on the current specification of the ngVLA. Read More

Affiliations: 1Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, USA, 2Dept. of Astronomy, University of Florida, USA, 3Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, 4INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy, 5California Institute of Technology, USA, 6Institute for Computational Science, University of Zurich, Switzerland, 7Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM-CNRS-Universite Paris Diderot, IRFU/Service d' Astrophysique, France, 8National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Japan, 9Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, The University of Electro-Communications, Japan

We study deuterium fractionation in two massive starless/early-stage cores C1-N and C1-S in Infrared Dark Cloud (IRDC) G028.37+00.07, first identified by Tan et al. Read More

Tracing molecular hydrogen content with carbon monoxide in low-metallicity galaxies has been exceedingly difficult. Here we present a new effort, with IRAM 30-m observations of 12CO(1-0) of a sample of 8 dwarf galaxies having oxygen abundances ranging from 12+logO/H=7.7 to 8. Read More

To date, most simulations of the chemistry in protoplanetary discs have used 1+1D or 2D axisymmetric $\alpha$-disc models to determine chemical compositions within young systems. This assumption is inappropriate for non-axisymmetric, gravitationally unstable discs, which may be a significant stage in early protoplanetary disc evolution. Using 3D radiative hydrodynamics, we have modelled the physical and chemical evolution of a 0. Read More

Aims. We aim to develop a chemical model that contains a consistent description of spin-state chemistry in reactions involving chemical species with multiple deuterons. We apply the model to the specific case of deuterated ammonia, to derive values for the various spin-state ratios. Read More