CHEMICAL DIVERSITY IN HIGH-MASS STAR FORMATION

H. Beuther, Q. Zhang, E. A. Bergin, T. K. Sridharan
2008 Astronomical Journal  
Massive star formation exhibits an extremely rich chemistry. However, not much evolutionary details are known yet, especially at high spatial resolution. Therefore, we synthesize previously published Submillimeter Array high-spatial-resolution spectral line observations toward four regions of high-mass star formation that are in various evolutionary stages with a range of luminosities. Estimating column densities and comparing the spatially resolved molecular emission allows us to characterize
more » ... us to characterize the chemical evolution in more detail. Furthermore, we model the chemical evolution of massive warm molecular cores to be directly compared with the data. The four regions reveal many different characteristics. While some of them, e.g., the detection rate of CH3OH, can be explained by variations of the average gas temperatures, other features are attributed to chemical effects. For example, C34S is observed mainly at the core-edges and not toward their centers because of temperature-selective desorption and successive gas-phase chemistry reactions. Most nitrogen-bearing molecules are only found toward the hot molecular cores and not the earlier evolutionary stages, indicating that the formation and excitation of such complex nitrogen-bearing molecules needs significant heating and time to be fully developed. Furthermore, we discuss the observational difficulties to study massive accretion disks in the young deeply embedded phase of massive star formation. The general potential and limitations of such kind of dataset are discussed, and future directions are outlined. The analysis and modeling of this source sample reveals many interesting features toward a chemical evolutionary sequence. However, it is only an early step, and many observational and theoretical challenges in that field lie ahead.
doi:10.1088/0004-6256/137/1/406 fatcat:lle3ndm7dnavdfsyfua37j4bw4