Chemical modeling of young stellar objects. I. Method and benchmarks.
BRUDERER S., DOTY S.D. and BENZ A.O.
Abstract (from CDS):
Upcoming facilities such as the Herschel Space Observatory or Atacama Large Millimeter Array will deliver a wealth of molecular line observations of young stellar objects (YSOs). Based on line fluxes, chemical abundances can then be estimated by radiative transfer calculations. To derive physical properties from abundances, the chemical network needs to be modeled and fitted to the observations. This modeling process is however computationally exceedingly demanding, particularly if in addition to density and temperature, far-UV (FUV) irradiation, X-rays, and multi-dimensional geometry have to be considered. We develop a fast tool, suitable for various applications of chemical modeling in YSOs. A grid of the chemical composition of the gas having a density, temperature, FUV irradiation and X-ray flux is pre-calculated as a function of time. A specific interpolation approach is developed to reduce the database to a feasible size. Published models of AFGL 2591 are used to verify the accuracy of the method. A second benchmark test is carried out for FUV sensitive molecules. The novel method for chemical modeling is more than 250,000 times faster than direct modeling and agrees within a mean factor of 1.35. The tool is distributed for public use. Main applications are (1) fitting physical parameters to observed molecular line fluxes and (2) deriving chemical abundances for two- and three-dimensional models. They will be presented in two future publications of this series. In the course of developing the method, the chemical evolution is explored: we find that X-ray chemistry in envelopes of YSOs can be reproduced by means of an enhanced cosmic-ray ionization rate with deviations less than 25%, having the observational consequence that molecular tracers for X-rays are hard to distinguish from cosmic-ray ionization tracers. We provide the detailed prescription to implement this total ionization rate approach in any chemical model. We further find that the abundance of CH+ in low-density gas with high ionization can be enhanced by the recombination of doubly ionized carbon (C++) and suggest a new value for the initial abundance of the main sulfur carrier in the hot core.