Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 586, L4-4 (2016/2-1)
The NH2D hyperfine structure revealed by astrophysical observations.
DANIEL F., COUDERT L.H., PUNANOVA A., HARJU J., FAURE A., ROUEFF E., SIPILAE O., CASELLI P., GUESTEN R., PON A. and PINEDA J.E.
Abstract (from CDS):
The 111-101 lines of ortho- and para-NH2D (o/p-NH2D) at 86 and 110GHz, respectively, are commonly observed to provide constraints on the deuterium fractionation in the interstellar medium. In cold regions, the hyperfine structure that is due to the nitrogen (14N) nucleus is resolved. To date, this splitting is the only one that is taken into account in the NH2D column density estimates. We investigate how including the hyperfine splitting caused by the deuterium (D) nucleus affects the analysis of the rotational lines of NH2D. We present 30 m IRAM observations of the above mentioned lines and APEX o/p-NH2D observations of the 101-000 lines at 333GHz. The hyperfine patterns of the observed lines were calculated taking into account the splitting induced by the D nucleus. The analysis then relies on line lists that either neglect or include the splitting induced by the D nucleus. The hyperfine spectra are first analyzed with a line list that only includes the hyperfine splitting that is due to the 14N nucleus. We find inconsistencies between the line widths of the 101-000 and 111-101 lines, the latter being larger by a factor of ∼1.6±0.3. Such a large difference is unexpected because the two sets of lines probably originate from the same region. We next employed a newly computed line list for the o/p-NH2D transitions where the hyperfine structure induced by both nitrogen and deuterium nuclei was included. With this new line list, the analysis of the previous spectra leads to compatible line widths. Neglecting the hyperfine structure caused by D leads to overestimating the line widths of the o/p-NH2D lines at 3 mm. The error for a cold molecular core is about 50%. This error propagates directly to the column density estimate. We therefore recommend to take the hyperfine splittings caused by both the 14N and D nuclei into account in any analysis that relies on these lines.