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Astrophysics Colloquium

Understanding Ice-gas Interactions in Star- and Planet-forming Regions through Laboratory Studies
Presented by Edith Fayolle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Thursday, October 31, 2019
11:00 A.M. in 169-336

Molecules found in dense regions of the interstellar medium play an important role in the star formation process. Quantifying their presence and energetic states can be used as diagnostics of the physical conditions and dynamics occurring at various star formation stages. In cold regions such as prestellar cores, protostellar envelopes, and disk mid-planes, the temperatures and densities are such that molecules condense from the gas phase or form and stay on dust grains, resulting in the presence of icy mantles. The main components of these interstellar ices are small volatile molecules, including H2O, CO, CO2, CH4, NH3, CH3OH as evidenced by infrared observations. Sublimation resulting from a young stellar object heating its surroundings, or non-thermal sublimation induced by UV photons, electrons, cosmic rays irradiation or exothermic chemical reactions affects the ice-gas partitioning and needs to be understood to interpret observations. Moreover, icy grains are the building blocks of planetary bodies and their ice molecular composition likely sets the chemistry of young planetary systems.

In this talk I will highlight key molecular observations and discuss past and ongoing laboratory experiments targeting both thermal and UV-induced desorption of ices. The particular cases of volatile species entrapment in amorphous water ice and that of CO photo-desorption will be presented.

SVCP Astrophysics

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