Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013
Mapping the Frozen Void
Suutarinen, Aleksi (The Open University)
Fraser, Helen (The Open University)
Reactions on the surfaces of dust grains play a vital role in the overall chemistry of interstellar matter. These grains become covered by icy layers, which are the largest molecular reservoir in the interstellar medium. Given this, it is surprising that the effect ice has on the overall chain of reactions is poorly characterized. One step on the path of gaining better understanding here is to develop methods of figuring out how much ice is present in these clouds, the links between ice components, and synergy between the ices and gas phase molecules. We do this by examining the absorption spectra of ices on lines of sight towards several stars behind clouds of interstellar matter. From these we can reconstruct spatial maps of the ice distribution on scales of as little as 1000 AU, as a test of the chemical variation within a cloud. By overlapping the ice data with other maps of the same region (gas emission, temperature, density etc) we create combined maps to reveal the astrochemistry of star-forming regions and pre-stellar cores.
In this poster we present the continuing results of our ice mapping programme, using data from the AKARI satellite, specifically in slitless spectroscopy observations in the NIR. In this region the key ice features encompass H2O, CO and CO2. The maps illustrate the power of our dedicated AKARI data reduction pipeline, and the novelty of our observing programme. We also detail the next steps\' in our ice mapping research. The method is being expanded to include the full 10\'x10\' AKARI field of view, taking account of image distortion induced by the dispersing optics. These maps are then combined with exiting gas-phase observations and SCUBA maps. The latest attempts at this are shown here. What is clear already is that it is difficult to predict ice abundances from factors such as extinction or gas density alone, and that ice formation and evolution can vary hugely over even very small astronomical scales.
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