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High Spectral Resolution SOFIA/EXES Observations of C2H2 toward Orion-IRc2

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Authors : Naseem Rangwala, Sean W. J. Colgan, Romane Le Gal, Kinsuk, Acharyya, Xinchuan Huang, Timothy J. Lee, Eric Herbst, Curtis deWitt, Matt Richter, Adwin Boogert, and Mark McKelvey

Abstract : We present high spectral resolution observations from 12.96 to 13.33 microns toward Orion IRc2 using the mid-infrared spectrograph, Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph (EXES), at Stratospheric Observatory
for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). These observations probe the physical and chemical conditions of the Orion hot core, which is sampled by a bright, compact, mid-infrared background continuum source in the region, IRc2. All 10 of the rovibrational C2H2 transitions expected in our spectral coverage are detected with high signal-to-noise ratios (S/Ns), yielding continuous coverage of the R-branch lines from J = 9–8 to J = 18–17, including both ortho and para species. Eight of these rovibrational transitions are newly reported detections. The isotopologue, 13CCH2, is clearly detected with a high S/N. This enabled a direct measurement of the 12C/13C isotopic ratio for the Orion hot core of 14 ± 1 and an estimated maximum value of 21. We also detected several HCN rovibrational lines. The ortho and para C2H2 ladders are clearly separate, and tracing two different temperatures, 226 K and 164K, respectively, with a non-equilibrium ortho to para ratio (OPR) of
1.7 ± 0.1. Additionally, the ortho and para V LSR values differ by about 1.8 ± 0.2 km s-1, while the mean line widths differ by 0.7 ± 0.2 km s-1, suggesting that these species are not uniformly mixed along the line of sight to IRc2. We propose that the abnormally low C2H2 OPR could be a remnant from an earlier, colder phase, before the density enhancement (now the hot core) was impacted by shocks generated from an explosive event 500 years ago.
Journal : Astrophysical Journal ApJ