Document Detail

Deuterium in the Galactic Centre as a result of recent infall of low-metallicity gas.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10890436     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The Galactic Centre is the most active and heavily processed region of the Milky Way, so it can be used as a stringent test for the abundance of deuterium (a sensitive indicator of conditions in the first 1,000 seconds in the life of the Universe). As deuterium is destroyed in stellar interiors, chemical evolution models predict that its Galactic Centre abundance relative to hydrogen is D/H = 5 x 10(-12), unless there is a continuous source of deuterium from relatively primordial (low-metallicity) gas. Here we report the detection of deuterium (in the molecule DCN) in a molecular cloud only 10 parsecs from the Galactic Centre. Our data, when combined with a model of molecular abundances, indicate that D/H = (1.7 +/- 0.3) x 10(-6), five orders of magnitude larger than the predictions of evolutionary models with no continuous source of deuterium. The most probable explanation is recent infall of relatively unprocessed metal-poor gas into the Galactic Centre (at the rate inferred by Wakker). Our measured D/H is nine times less than the local interstellar value, and the lowest D/H observed in the Galaxy. We conclude that the observed Galactic Centre deuterium is cosmological, with an abundance reduced by stellar processing and mixing, and that there is no significant Galactic source of deuterium.
D A Lubowich; J M Pasachoff; T J Balonek; T J Millar; C Tremonti; H Roberts; R P Galloway
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  405     ISSN:  0028-0836     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2000 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-07-31     Completed Date:  2000-07-31     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1025-7     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York 11550, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Astronomical Phenomena
Deuterium* / analysis
Extraterrestrial Environment
Reg. No./Substance:
1333-74-0/Hydrogen; 7782-39-0/Deuterium
Comment In:
Nature. 2000 Jun 29;405(6790):1009, 1011   [PMID:  10890429 ]

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