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Astron. Astrophys. 315, L173-L176 (1996)

Detection of hot, abundant water toward AFGL 2591*

F.P. Helmich1, E.F. van Dishoeck1, J.H. Black2, Th. de Graauw3, D.A. Beintema3,4, A.M. Heras4, F. Lahuis4, P.W. Morris4,5, and E.A. Valentijn3,4

1 Leiden Observatory, P.O.-Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, S-439 92 Onsala, Sweden
3 SRON, P.O.-Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
4 ISO Science Operation Center, Astrophysics Division of ESA, P.O.-Box 50727, E-28080 Villafranca/Madrid, Spain
5 SRON, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received 1 July 1996 / Accepted 21 August 1996

Abstract. We present the first detection of absorption lines within the bending vibration of water in the interstellar medium using the ISO-SWS. More than 30 lines between 5.5 and 6.6  img1.gifm are detected toward the bright infrared source GL 2591, which arise most likely in the dense molecular cloud core surrounding the young stellar object. Comparison with model spectra indicates a high excitation temperature ( img2.gif  K) and a high abundance [H2O]/[H2] img4.gif . We speculate on the origin of the hot water, and the consequences for the chemistry.

Key words: ISM: abundances - ISM: molecules - ISM: clouds - ISM: individual: AFGL 2591

* Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA

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