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Green Bank Telescope (GBT) Observations of Interstellar Glycolaldehyde: Low Temperature Sugar



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


Interstellar glycolalsehyde (CHd2^OHCHO) has been detected with the 100m Green Bank Telescope (GBT) toward the star-forming region Sagittarius B2(N) by means of the 1d10^-1d01,^2d11^-2d02,^3d12^-3d03, and 4d13^-4d04 rotational transitions at 13.48, 15.18, 17.98, and 22.14 GHz, respectively. An analysis of these four high signal-to-noise ratio rotational transitions yields a glycolaldehyde state temperature of 8K. Previously reported emission-line detections of glycolaldehyde with the NRAO 12 m telescope at millimeter wavelengths (71-103 GHz) are characterized by a state temperature of 50K. By comparison, the GBT detections are surprisingly strong and are seen in emission at 13.48 GHz, emission and absorption at 17.98 and 22.14 GHz. We attribute the strong absorption observed by the GBT at the higher frequencies to the correspondingly smaller GBT beams coupling better to the continuum source(s) in Sagittarius B2(N). A possible model for the two-temperature regions of glycolaldehyde is discussed.
Astrophysical Journal


absorption, glycolaldehyde, interstellar molecule, radio astronomy, rotational transitions, telescope


Hollis, J. , Jewell, P. , Lovas, F. and Remijan, A. (2004), Green Bank Telescope (GBT) Observations of Interstellar Glycolaldehyde: Low Temperature Sugar, Astrophysical Journal (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created August 31, 2004, Updated October 12, 2021