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Green Bank Telescope Detection of New Interstellar Aldehydes: Propenal and Propanal



J M. Hollis, P R. Jewell, Francis J. Lovas, A Remijan, H Mollendal


The new interstellar molecules propenal (CH2CHCHO) and propanal (CH3CH2CHO) have been detected largely in absorption toward the star-forming region Sagittarius B2(N) by means of rotational transitions observed with the 100 m Green Bank Telescope (GBT) operating in the range from 18 GHz (lambda similar to 1.7 cm) to 26 GHz (lambda similar to 1.2 cm). The GBT was also used to observe the previously reported interstellar aldehyde propynal (HC2CHO) 1.2 in Sagittarius B2(N), which is a known source of large molecules presumably formed on interstellar grains. The presence of these three interstellar aldehydes toward Sagittarius B2( N) strongly suggests that simple hydrogen addition on interstellar grains accounts for successively larger molecular species: from propynal to propenal and from propenal to propanal. Energy sources within Sagittarius B2( N) likely permit the hydrogen addition reactions on grain surfaces to proceed. This work demonstrates that successive hydrogen addition is probably an important chemistry route in the formation of a number of complex interstellar molecules. We also searched for but did not detect the three-carbon sugar glyceraldehyde (CH2OHCHOHCHO).
Astrophysical Journal
No. 1


galactic-center, glycolalehyde, ices, microwave-spectrum, molecules, sugars


Hollis, J. , Jewell, P. , Lovas, F. , Remijan, A. and Mollendal, H. (2004), Green Bank Telescope Detection of New Interstellar Aldehydes: Propenal and Propanal, Astrophysical Journal (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created June 30, 2004, Updated October 12, 2021