Evidence for the Naphthalene Cation in a Region of the Interstellar Medium with Anomalous Microwave Emission




Iglesias-Groth, S.
Manchado, A.
Garcia-Hernandez, D. A.
Hernandez, J. I. G.
Lambert, David L.

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We report high-resolution spectroscopy of the moderately reddened (A(v) = 3) early-type star Cernis 52 located in a region of the Perseus molecular cloud complex with anomalous microwave emission. In addition to the presence of the most common diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) we detect two new interstellar or circumstellar bands coincident to within 0.01% in wavelength with the two strongest bands of the naphthalene cation (C(10)H(8)(+)) as measured in gas-phase laboratory spectroscopy at low temperatures and find marginal evidence for the third strongest band. Assuming these features are caused by the naphthalene cation, from the measured intensity and available oscillator strengths we find that 0.008% of the carbon in the cloud could be in the form of this molecule. We expect hydrogen additions to cause hydronaphthalene cations to be abundant in the cloud and to contribute via electric dipole radiation to the anomalous microwave emission. The identification of new interstellar features consistent with transitions of the simplest polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon adds support to the hypothesis that this type of molecules are the carriers of both diffuse interstellar bands and anomalous microwave emission.


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Iglesias-Groth, S., A. Manchado, D. A. García-Hernández, JI González Hernández, and D. L. Lambert. "Evidence for the naphthalene cation in a region of the interstellar medium with anomalous microwave emission." The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Vol. 685, No. 1 (Sep., 2008): L55.