論文

査読有り
2018年4月20日

The Ortho-to-para Ratio of Water Molecules Desorbed from Ice Made from Para-water Monomers at 11 K

Astrophysical Journal Letters
  • Tetsuya Hama
  • ,
  • Akira Kouchi
  • ,
  • Naoki Watanabe

857
2
開始ページ
6pp
終了ページ
記述言語
英語
掲載種別
研究論文(学術雑誌)
DOI
10.3847/2041-8213/aabc0c
出版者・発行元
Institute of Physics Publishing

Water has two nuclear-spin isomers: ortho- and para-H2O. Some observations of interstellar space and cometary comae have reported the existence of gaseous H2O molecules with anomalous ortho-to-para ratios (OPRs) less than the statistical value of three. This has been often used to estimate the formation temperature of ice on dust, which is inferred to be below 50 K. The relation between the nuclear-spin dynamics of H2O in ice at low temperatures and the OPR of gaseous H2O desorbed from the ice has yet to be explored in a laboratory. Consequently, the true meaning of the observed OPRs remains debated. We measure the OPR of H2O photodesorbed from ice made from para-H2O monomers at 11 K, which was prepared by the sublimation of Ne from a para-H2O/Ne matrix. The photodesorbed H2O molecules from the ice have the statistical OPR value of three, demonstrating the immediate nuclear-spin-state mixing of H2O toward the statistical value of ice even at 11 K. The OPR of H2O thermally desorbed from the ice also shows the expected statistical value. Our results indicate that the OPR of H2O desorbed from interstellar ice should be the statistical value regardless of the formation process of the ice, which cannot be used to deduce the ice-formation temperature. This study highlights the importance of interstellar gas-phase processes in understanding anomalous abundance ratios of nuclear-spin isomers of molecules in space.

リンク情報
DOI
https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aabc0c

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