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  1. Abstract

    The interplay of the chemistry and physics that exists within astrochemically relevant sources can only be fully appreciated if we can gain a holistic understanding of their chemical inventories. Previous work by Lee et al. demonstrated the capabilities of simple regression models to reproduce the abundances of the chemical inventory of the Taurus Molecular Cloud 1 (TMC-1), as well as to provide abundance predictions for new candidate molecules. It remains to be seen, however, to what degree TMC-1 is a “unicorn” in astrochemistry, where the simplicity of its chemistry and physics readily facilitates characterization with simple machine learning models. Here we present an extension in chemical complexity to a heavily studied high-mass star-forming region: the Orion Kleinmann–Low (Orion KL) nebula. Unlike TMC-1, Orion KL is composed of several structurally distinct environments that differ chemically and kinematically, wherein the column densities of molecules between these components can have nonlinear correlations that cause the unexpected appearance or even lack of likely species in various environments. This proof-of-concept study used similar regression models sampled by Lee et al. to accurately reproduce the column densities from the XCLASS fitting program presented by Crockett et al.

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  2. Abstract

    Recent detections of aromatic species in dark molecular clouds suggest that formation pathways may be efficient at very low temperatures and pressures, yet current astrochemical models are unable to account for their derived abundances, which can often deviate from model predictions by several orders of magnitude. The propargyl radical, a highly abundant species in the dark molecular cloud TMC-1, is an important aromatic precursor in combustion flames and possibly interstellar environments. We performed astrochemical modeling of TMC-1 using the three-phase gas-grain codeNAUTILUSand an updated chemical network, focused on refining the chemistry of the propargyl radical and related species. The abundance of the propargyl radical has been increased by half an order of magnitude compared to the previous GOTHAM network. This brings it closer in line with observations, but it remains underestimated by 2 orders of magnitude compared to its observed value. Predicted abundances for the chemically related C4H3N isomers within an order of magnitude of observed values corroborate the high efficiency of CN addition to closed-shell hydrocarbons under dark molecular cloud conditions. The results of our modeling provide insight into the chemical processes of the propargyl radical in dark molecular clouds and highlight the importance of resonance-stabilized radicals in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon formation.

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  3. Abstract Molecular lines tracing the orbital motion of gas in a well-defined disk are valuable tools for inferring both the properties of the disk and the star it surrounds. Lines that arise only from a disk, and not also from the surrounding molecular cloud core that birthed the star or from the outflow it drives, are rare. Several such emission lines have recently been discovered in one example case, those from NaCl and KCl salt molecules. We studied a sample of 23 candidate high-mass young stellar objects (HMYSOs) in 17 high-mass star-forming regions to determine how frequently emission from these species is detected. We present five new detections of water, NaCl, KCl, PN, and SiS from the innermost regions around the objects, bringing the total number of known briny disk candidates to nine. Their kinematic structure is generally disk-like, though we are unable to determine whether they arise from a disk or outflow in the sources with new detections. We demonstrate that these species are spatially coincident in a few resolved cases and show that they are generally detected together, suggesting a common origin or excitation mechanism. We also show that several disks around HMYSOs clearly do not exhibit emission in these species. Salty disks are therefore neither particularly rare in high-mass disks, nor are they ubiquitous. 
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  4. Abstract We report the detection of the lowest-energy conformer of E -1-cyano-1,3-butadiene ( E -1- C 4 H 5 CN ), a linear isomer of pyridine, using the fourth data reduction of the GBT Observations of TMC-1: Hunting for Aromatic Molecules (GOTHAM) deep spectral survey toward TMC-1 with the 100 m Green Bank Telescope. We perform velocity stacking and matched-filter analyses using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations and find evidence for the presence of this molecule at the 5.1 σ level. We derive a total column density of 3.8 − 0.9 + 1.0 × 10 10 cm −2 , which is predominantly found toward two of the four velocity components we observe toward TMC-1. We use this molecule as a proxy for constraining the gas-phase abundance of the apolar hydrocarbon 1,3-butadiene. Based on the three-phase astrochemical modeling code NAUTILUS and an expanded chemical network, our model underestimates the abundance of cyano-1,3-butadiene by a factor of 19, with a peak column density of 2.34 × 10 10 cm −2 for 1,3-butadiene. Compared to the modeling results obtained in previous GOTHAM analyses, the abundance of 1,3-butadiene is increased by about two orders of magnitude. Despite this increase, the modeled abundances of aromatic species do not appear to change and remain underestimated by one to four orders of magnitude. Meanwhile, the abundances of the five-membered ring molecules increase proportionally with 1,3-butadiene by two orders of magnitude. We discuss the implications for bottom-up formation routes to aromatic and polycyclic aromatic molecules. 
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  5. Abstract Using data from the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) Observations of TMC-1: Hunting for Aromatic Molecules (GOTHAM) survey, we report the first astronomical detection of the C 10 H − anion. The astronomical observations also provided the necessary data to refine the spectroscopic parameters of C 10 H − . From the velocity stacked data and the matched filter response, C 10 H − is detected at >9 σ confidence level at a column density of 4.04 − 2.23 + 10.67 × 10 11 cm −2 . A dedicated search for the C 10 H radical was also conducted toward TMC-1. In this case, the stacked molecular emission of C 10 H was detected at a ∼3.2 σ confidence interval at a column density of 2.02 − 0.82 + 2.68 × 10 11 cm −2 . However, as the determined confidence level is currently <5 σ , we consider the identification of C 10 H as tentative. The full GOTHAM data set was also used to better characterize the physical parameters including column density, excitation temperature, line width, and source size for the C 4 H, C 6 H, and C 8 H radicals and their respective anions, and the measured column densities were compared to the predictions from a gas/grain chemical formation model and from a machine learning analysis. Given the measured values, the C 10 H − /C 10 H column density ratio is ∼ 2.0 − 1.6 + 5.9 —the highest value measured between an anion and neutral species to date. Such a high ratio is at odds with current theories for interstellar anion chemistry. For the radical species, both models can reproduce the measured abundances found from the survey; however, the machine learning analysis matches the detected anion abundances much better than the gas/grain chemical model, suggesting that the current understanding of the formation chemistry of molecular anions is still highly uncertain. 
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  6. Abstract We present laboratory rotational spectroscopy of five isomers of cyanoindene (2-, 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-cyanoindene) using a cavity Fourier transform microwave spectrometer operating between 6 and 40 GHz. Based on these measurements, we report the detection of 2-cyanoindene (1H-indene-2-carbonitrile; 2- C 9 H 7 CN ) in GOTHAM line survey observations of the dark molecular cloud TMC-1 using the Green Bank Telescope at centimeter wavelengths. Using a combination of Markov Chain Monte Carlo, spectral stacking, and matched filtering techniques, we find evidence for the presence of this molecule at the 6.3 σ level. This provides the first direct observation of the ratio of a cyano-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon to its pure hydrocarbon counterpart, in this case indene, in the same source. We discuss the possible formation chemistry of this species, including why we have only detected one of the isomers in TMC-1. We then examine the overall hydrocarbon:CN-substituted ratio across this and other simpler species, as well as compare to those ratios predicted by astrochemical models. We conclude that while astrochemical models are not yet sufficiently accurate to reproduce absolute abundances of these species, they do a good job at predicting the ratios of hydrocarbon:CN-substituted species, further solidifying -CN tagged species as excellent proxies for their fully symmetric counterparts. 
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  7. Abstract We report a systematic study of all known methyl carbon chains toward TMC-1 using the second data release of the GOTHAM survey, as well as a search for larger species. Using Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations and spectral line stacking of over 30 rotational transitions, we report statistically significant emission from methylcyanotriacetylene (CH 3 C 7 N) at a confidence level of 4.6 σ , and use it to derive a column density of ∼10 11 cm −2 . We also searched for the related species, methyltetraacetylene (CH 3 C 8 H), and place upper limits on the column density of this molecule. By carrying out the above statistical analyses for all other previously detected methyl-terminated carbon chains that have emission lines in our survey, we assess the abundances, excitation conditions, and formation chemistry of methylpolyynes (CH 3 C 2 n H) and methylcyanopolyynes (CH 3 C 2 n -1 N) in TMC-1, and compare those with predictions from a chemical model. Based on our observed trends in column density and relative populations of the A and E nuclear spin isomers, we find that the methylpolyyne and methylcyanopolyyne families exhibit stark differences from one another, pointing to separate interstellar formation pathways, which is confirmed through gas–grain chemical modeling with nautilus . 
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