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Astron. Astrophys. 334, L81-L84 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

Search for LiH in the ISM towards B0218+357

F. Combes 1 and T. Wiklind 2

1 DEMIRM, Observatoire de Paris, 61 Av. de l'Observatoire, F-75014 Paris, France
2 Onsala Space Observatory, S-43992 Onsala, Sweden

Received 21 April 1998 / Accepted 28 April 1998


We report a tentative detection with the IRAM 30m telescope of the LiH molecule in absorption in front of the lensed quasar B0218+357. We have searched for the [FORMULA] rotational line of lithium hydride at 444 GHz (redshifted to 263 GHz). The line, if detected, is optically thin, very narrow, and corresponds to a column density of N(LiH) = 1.6 1012 cm-2 for an assumed excitation temperature of 15 K, or a relative abundance LiH/H [FORMULA] 3 10-12. We discuss the implications of this result.

Key words: ISM: general, abundances, molecules – galaxies: ISM – quasars: absorption lines – radio lines: ISM

Send offprint requests to: F. Combes (e-mail: bottaro@obspm.fr)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: June 2, 1998