Ice Age : Chemo-dynamical modeling of Cha-MMS1 to predict new solid-phase species for detection with JWST

Mihwa Jin, Ka Ho Lam, Melissa K. McClure, Jeroen Terwisscha van Scheltinga, Zhi-Yun Li, Adwin Boogert, Eric Herbst, Shane W. Davis, Robin T. Garrod

Submitted on 9 July 2022


Chemical models and experiments indicate that interstellar dust grains and their ice mantles play an important role in the production of complex organic molecules (COMs). To date, the most complex solid-phase molecule detected with certainty in the ISM is methanol, but the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) may be able to identify still larger organic species. In this study, we use a coupled chemo-dynamical model to predict new candidate species for JWST detection toward the young star-forming core Cha-MMS1, combining the gas-grain chemical kinetic code MAGICKAL with a 1-D radiative hydrodynamics simulation using Athena++. With this model, the relative abundances of the main ice constituents with respect to water toward the core center match well with typical observational values, providing a firm basis to explore the ice chemistry. Six oxygen-bearing COMs (ethanol, dimethyl ether, acetaldehyde, methyl formate, methoxy methanol, and acetic acid), as well as formic acid, show abundances as high as, or exceeding, 0.01% with respect to water ice. Based on the modeled ice composition, the infrared spectrum is synthesized to diagnose the detectability of the new ice species. The contribution of COMs to IR absorption bands is minor compared to the main ice constituents, and the identification of COM ice toward the core center of Cha-MMS1 with the JWST NIRCAM/Wide Field Slitless Spectroscopy (2.4-5.0 micron) may be unlikely. However, MIRI observations (5-28 micron) toward COM-rich environments where solid-phase COM abundances exceed 1% with respect to the water ice column density might reveal the distinctive ice features of COMs.


Comment: Accepted to ApJ (28 Pages, 11 figures)

Subjects: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies