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Insights into the Carbon Chemistry of Monoceros R2

Rizzo, Jose Ricardo; Fuente, A.; García-Burillo, S.

Aiming to learn about the chemistry of the dense PDR around the ultracompact (UC) H II region in Mon R2, we have observed a series of millimeter-wavelength transitions of C3H2 and C2H. In addition, we have traced the distribution of other molecules, such as H13CO+, SiO, HCO, and HC3N. These data, together with the reactive ions recently detected, have been considered to determine the physical conditions and to model the PDR chemistry. We then identified two kinds of molecules. The first group, formed by the reactive ions (CO+ and HOC+) and small hydrocarbons (C2H and C3H2), traces the surface layers of the PDR and is presumably exposed to a high UV field (hence we call it high UV or HUV). HUV species are expected to dominate for visual absorptions 2 mag<AV<5 mag. A second group (less exposed to the UV field, and hence called low UV, or LUV) includes HCO and SiO and is mainly present at the edges of the PDR (AV>5 mag). While the abundances of the HUV molecules can be explained by gas-phase models, this is not the case for the studied LUV ones. Although some efficient gas-phase reactions might be lacking, grain chemistry sounds like a probable mechanism able to explain the observed enhancement of HCO and SiO. Within this scenario, the interaction of UV photons with grains produces an important effect on the molecular gas chemistry and constitutes the first evidence of an ionization front created by the UC H II region carving its host molecular cloud. The physical conditions and kinematics of the gas layer that surrounds the UC H II region were derived from the HUV molecules. Molecular hydrogen densities >4×106 cm-3 are required to reproduce the observations. Such high densities suggest that the H II region could be pressure-confined by the surrounding high-density molecular gas.

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