Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 440, 949-966 (2005/9-4)
X-ray chemistry in the envelopes around young stellar objects.
STAEUBER P., DOTY S.D., VAN DISHOECK E.F. and BENZ A.O.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present chemical models of the envelope of a young stellar object (YSO) exposed to a central X-ray source. The models are applied to the massive star-forming region AFGL2591 for different X-ray fluxes. Model results for this region show that the X-ray ionization rate with and without the effects of Compton scattering differs by only a few percent and the influence of Compton scattering on the chemistry is negligible. The total X-ray ionization rate is dominated by the ``secondary'' ionization rate of H2 resulting from fast electrons. The abundance profiles of several molecular and atomic species are shown to depend on the X-ray luminosity and on the distance from the source. The carbon, sulphur and nitrogen chemistries are discussed. It is found that He+ and H3+ are enhanced and trigger a peculiar chemistry. Several molecular X-ray tracers are found and compared to tracers of the far ultraviolet (FUV) field. Like ultraviolet radiation fields, X-rays enhance simple hydrides, ions and radicals. In contrast to ultraviolet photons, X-rays can penetrate deep into the envelope and affect the chemistry even at large distances from the source. Whereas the FUV enhanced species cover a region of ≃200-300AU, the region enhanced by X-rays is >1000AU. We find that N2O, HNO, SO, SO+, HCO+, CO+, OH+, N2H+, SH+ and HSO+ (among others) are more enhanced by X-rays than by FUV photons even for X-ray luminosities as low as LX≃1030erg/s. CO2 abundances are reduced in the gas-phase through X-ray induced FUV photons. For temperatures T≲230K, H2O is destroyed by X-rays with luminosities LX>1030erg/s. Best-fit models for AFGL2591 predict an X-ray luminosity LX>1031erg/s with a hard X-ray spectrum TX>3x107K. This is the first time that the X-ray flux of a highly obscured source has been estimated by its envelope chemistry. Furthermore, we find LX/Lbol≃10–6. The chemistry of the bulk of the envelope mass is dominated by cosmic-ray induced reactions rather than by X-ray induced ionization for X-ray luminosities LX≲1033erg/s. The calculated line intensities of HCO+ and HCS+ show that high-J lines are more affected than lower J lines by the presence of X-rays due to their higher critical densities, and that such differences are detectable even with large aperture single-dish telescopes. Future instruments such as Herschel-HIFI or SOFIA will be able to observe X-ray enhanced hydrides whereas the sensitivity and spatial resolution of ALMA is well-suited to measure the size and geometry of the region affected by X-rays.