was found in the protoplanetary disk.
Using the ALMA array, scientists were able to identify formic acid in the circumstellar disk of the TW Hydra system. This is the first discovery of the simplest carboxylic acid on the protoplanetary disk.
TW Hydra is 194 light years away from Earth. This is a T Tauri star with a mass of 0.7 solar and an age of 10 million years. It is believed that the ice giant rotates in orbit around it with a distance of 22 a. e. The star is famous for its gas-rich circumstellar disk with a mass of 0.0006 solar. Outstanding rings and gaps in emissions of gas and dust can be seen on the disk, which may hint at a long period of planetary formation.
The study of such disks can provide important information about the processes of the origin of the planets. Therefore, it is important for scientists to understand whether organic molecules are synthesized in protoplanetary disks, since the chemical composition of these structures is capable of forming the properties of the emerging planetary system.
A) The observed gas phase of t-HCOOH, integrated over the line profile after the application of the Keplerian mask. The contours and level steps are 3σ. B) The same as A, but in the form of a model. Synthesized bundle shown below right To this end, the researchers used ALMA to spy on TW Hydra in mid-2016, focusing on the detection of formic acid (HCOOH). This is the simplest carboxylic acid and the main organic molecule. The survey campaign came to the discovery of the HCOOH 129 GHz with a signal-to-noise ratio of about 4.0.
The analysis shows that the release of formic acid in TW Hydra has a centralized peak with an expansion of more than 200 a. e. Low resolution observation does not allow to limit the exact source of formic acid formation in the disk, but it is believed that all organic oxygen-containing molecules are released in the same area.
Given that methanol (CH3OH), which is perceived as the starting molecule from which more complex organic substances are synthesized, was previously detected with respect to TW Hydra, the researchers also calculated the proportion of formic acid in relation to methanol. It does not exceed 1.0, which is approximately an order of magnitude greater than the ratio measured in comets.