PI: Craig A. Kulesa, Steward Observatory, email@example.com
Address: 933 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721, US
CoI: John H. Black, Onsala Space Observatory
Title: High-Resolution Infrared Spectroscopy of Molecular Clouds and Star- Forming Regions
Abstract: High-resolution infrared spectroscopy provides a powerful probe of the physical conditions, abundances, chemistry and distribution of molecular material in interstellar clouds and star forming regions. Indeed, the need for sensitive, high-resolution absorption spectroscopy of interstellar matter has been one of the important scientific justifications for constructing the Phoenix spectrometer. We propose to complete our comprehensive spectroscopic study of several molecular clouds toward embedded IR sources which fully exploits the unique capabilities of Phoenix. The proposed spectroscopy will provide crucial tests of theoretical models of molecular clouds. Specifically, this observing program (1) establishes directly the column density of cold H_2 in a sample of dense clouds where various other molecules are observed, (2) measures the abundance, excitation, and physical environments of ^12CO and ^13CO in molecular clouds with an accuracy that cannot be achieved by radio frequency measurements, (3) constrains the cosmic ray ionization rate and H_2O chemistry via direct observations of the pivotal molecular ion H_3^+, and (4) complements our related medium-resolution spectroscopy with ISO and submillimeter-wave spectroscopy at the 10-meter HHT on Mt. Graham.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360