Authors: Agundez, M.; Marcelino, N.; Tercero, B.; Cabezas, C.; de Vicente, P.; Cernicharo, J.
Journal: ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS
Publication date: 2021/05/05
Abstract: We report the detection of the oxygen-bearing complex organic molecules propenal (C2H3CHO), vinyl alcohol (C2H3OH), methyl formate (HCOOCH3), and dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3) toward the cyanopolyyne peak of the starless core TMC-1. These molecules were detected through several emission lines in a deep Q-band line survey of TMC-1 carried out with the Yebes 40m telescope. These observations reveal that the cyanopolyyne peak of TMC-1, which is a prototype of a cold dark cloud rich in carbon chains, also contains O-bearing complex organic molecules such as HCOOCH3 and CH3OCH3, which have previously been seen in a handful of cold interstellar clouds. In addition, this is the first secure detection of C2H3OH in space and the first time that C2H3CHO and C2H3OH have been detected in a cold environment, adding new pieces to the puzzle of complex organic molecules in cold sources. We derive column densities of (2.2 +/- 0.3) x 10(11) cm(-2), (2.5 +/- 0.5) x 10(12) cm(-2), (1.1 +/- 0.2) x 10(12) cm(-2), and (2.5 +/- 0.7) x 10(12) cm(-2) for C2H3CHO, C2H3OH, HCOOCH3, and CH3OCH3, respectively. Interestingly, C2H3OH has an abundance similar to that of its well-known isomer acetaldehyde (CH3CHO), with C2H3OH/CH3CHO similar to 1 at the cyanopolyyne peak. We discuss potential formation routes to these molecules and recognize that further experimental, theoretical, and astronomical studies are needed to elucidate the true formation mechanism of these O-bearing complex organic molecules in cold interstellar sources.