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2008ApJ...689.1448R - Astrophys. J., 689, 1448-1455 (2008/December-3)

Nitrogen isotopic fractionation of interstellar nitriles.


Abstract (from CDS):

In light of recent measurement of nitrogen isotope ratios in CN and HCN in several comets, and the correlation between 15N excess and the presence of nitrile (-CN) functional groups in meteoritic samples, we have reassessed the potential of interstellar chemistry to directly fractionate nitriles. We focus in particular on the 15N chemistry in selective depletion cores where O-bearing molecules are depleted yet N- and C-bearing species remain in the gas, as revealed by the recent detection of CN in dense CO-depleted cores. We show that large HC15N/HC14N ratios can be generated if the reaction of CN with N has a barrier, and suggest that cometary HCN and CN may trace material originally formed in dense interstellar clouds.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Astrochemistry - Comets: General - ISM: Molecules - Meteors, Meteoroids - Molecular Processes

Simbad objects: 12

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