AAS 197, January 2001
Session 7. Gas in the Galactic ISM
Display, Monday, January 8, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[7.17] Detection of Interstellar C3 in the Spectra of \zeta~Ophiuchi, 20~Aquilae, and \zeta~Persei

D.A. Bohlender (National Research Council of Canada, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics), G.A.H. Walker (University of British Columbia), J.P. Maier, N.M. Lakin (Universität Basel)

The smallest polyatomic carbon chain, C3, has been identified in interstellar clouds (Av~1 mag) towards \zeta Ophiuchi, 20 Aquilae, and \zeta Persei by detection of the origin band of its A1\Piu-X1\Sigma+g electronic transition, near 4052Å. Individual rotational lines were resolved up to J=30 enabling the rotational level column densities and temperature distributions to be determined. The inferred limits for the total column densities (~1 to 2\times1012 cm-2) offer a strong incentive to laboratory and astrophysical searches for the longer carbon chains. Concurrent searches for C2+, C2- and C3- were negative but provide sensitive estimates for their maximum column densities.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: david.bohlender@nrc.ca

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