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DETECTION OF A NEW INTERSTELLAR MOLECULE, H(2)CN

Abstract
We have detected a new interstellar molecule, H2CN (methylene amidogen), in the cold, dark molecular cloud TMC-1. The column density of H2CN is estimated to be approximately 1.5 x 1011 cm-2 by assuming an excitation temperature of 5 K. This column density corresponds to a fractional abundance relative to H2 of approximately 1.5 x 10-11. This value is more than three orders of magnitude less than the abundance of the related molecule HCN in TMC-1. We also report a tentative detection of H2CN in Sgr B2(N). The formation mechanism of H2CN is discussed. Our detection of the N2CN molecule may suggest the existence of a new series of carbon-chain molecules, CH2C(n)N (N = 0, 1, 2, ...).
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1994
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