Molecular abundances in the Magellanic Clouds .2. Deuterated species in the LMC

Y.N. Chin, C. Henkel, TJ Millar, J.B. Whiteoak, R. Mauersberger

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The first definite discoveries of extragalactic deuterium are reported. DCO+ has been detected in three and DCN has been measured in one star-forming region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). While the HCO+/DCO+ abundance ratios are found to be 19 +/- 3, 24 +/- 4, and 67 +/- 18 for N113, N44BC and N159HW, respectively, a HCN/DCN abundance ratio of 23 +/- 5 is obtained for N113. These results are consistent with a gas temperature of about 20 K and a D/H ratio of about 1.5 x 10(-5), consistent with that observed in the Galaxy. If the cloud temperature is closer to 30 K, then a D/H ratio is required to be up to an order of magnitude larger. Because this ratio provides a lower limit to the primordial D/H ratio, it indicates that the baryon mass density alone is unable to close the universe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L33-L36
Number of pages4
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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