Fernando Rico-Villas's research while affiliated with Centro de Astrobiología and other places

Publications (38)

Article
We have used ALMA imaging (resolutions 0.1″-0.4″) of ground and vibrationally excited lines of HCN and HC3N toward the nucleus of NGC 4945 to trace the protostellar phase in Super Star Clusters (proto-SSC). Out of the 14 identified SSCs, we find that 8 are in the proto-SSC phase showing vibrational HCN emission with 5 of them also showing vibration...
Preprint
We have used ALMA imaging (resolutions 0.1\arcsec-0.4\arcsec) of ground and vibrationally excited lines of HCN and HC$_3$N toward the nucleus of NGC 4945 to trace the protostellar phase in Super Star Clusters (proto-SSC). Out of the 14 identified SSCs, we find that 8 are in the proto-SSC phase showing vibrational HCN emission with 5 of them also sh...
Article
Using high angular resolution ALMA observations (0.02″ ≈ 0.34 pc), we study the thermal structure and kinematics of the proto super star cluster 13 in the central region of NGC 253 through their continuum and vibrationally excited HC3N emission from J = 24 − 23 and J = 26 − 25 lines arising from vibrational states up to v4 = 1. We have carried 2D-L...
Preprint
Using high angular resolution ALMA observations ($0.02^{\prime\prime}\approx0.34$ pc), we study the thermal structure and kinematics of the proto super star cluster $13$ in the central region of NGC253 through their continuum and vibrationally excited HC$_3$N emission from $J=24-23$ and $J=26-25$ lines arising from vibrational states up to $v_4=1$....
Article
Full-text available
Nitriles play a key role as molecular precursors in prebiotic experiments based on the RNA-world scenario for the origin of life. These chemical compounds could have been partially delivered to the young Earth from extraterrestrial objects, stressing the importance of establishing the reservoir of nitriles in the interstellar medium. We report here...
Preprint
Nitriles play a key role as molecular precursors in prebiotic experiments based on the RNA-world scenario for the origin of life. These chemical compounds could have been partially delivered to the young Earth from extraterrestrial objects, stressing the importance of establishing the reservoir of nitriles in the interstellar medium. We report here...
Preprint
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Theories on the origins of life propose that early cell membranes were synthesized from amphiphilic molecules simpler than phospholipids such as fatty alcohols. The discovery in the interstellar medium (ISM) of ethanolamine, the simplest phospholipid head group, raises the question whether simple amphiphilic molecules are also synthesized in space....
Article
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We report the first detection of the phosphorus monoxide ion (PO+) in the interstellar medium. Our unbiased and very sensitive spectral survey toward the G+0.693–0.027 molecular cloud covers four different rotational transitions of this molecule, two of which (J = 1–0 and J = 2–1) appear free of contamination from other species. The fit performed,...
Article
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We present the first detection of ( Z )-1,2-ethenediol, (CHOH) 2 , the enol form of glycolaldehyde, in the interstellar medium toward the G+0.693−0.027 molecular cloud located in the Galactic Center. We have derived a column density of (1.8 ± 0.1) × 10 ¹³ cm ⁻² , which translates into a molecular abundance with respect to molecular hydrogen of 1.3...
Preprint
We present the first detection of ($Z$)-1,2-ethenediol, (CHOH)$_2$, the enol form of glycolaldehyde, in the interstellar medium towards the G+0.693-0.027 molecular cloud located in the Galactic Center. We have derived a column density of (1.8$\pm$0.1)$\times$10$^{13}$ cm$^{-2}$, which translates into a molecular abundance with respect to molecular...
Preprint
Full-text available
We report the first detection of the phosphorus monoxide ion (PO$^{+}$) in the interstellar medium. Our unbiased and very sensitive spectral survey towards the G+0.693$-$0.027 molecular cloud covers four different rotational transitions of this molecule, two of which ($J$=1$-$0 and $J$=2$-$1) appear free of contamination from other species. The fit...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) contains most of the mass of our Galaxy but its star formation rate is one order of magnitude lower than in the Galactic disc. This is likely related to the fact that the bulk of the gas in the CMZ is in a warm ($>$100 K) and turbulent phase with little material in the pre-stellar phase. We present in this Letter ob...
Article
Full-text available
Supernova remnants (SNRs) contribute to regulate the star formation efficiency and evolution of galaxies. As they expand into the interstellar medium (ISM), they transfer vast amounts of energy and momentum that displace, compress, and heat the surrounding material. Despite the extensive work in galaxy evolution models, it remains to be observation...
Article
Full-text available
The Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) contains most of the mass of our Galaxy but its star formation rate is one order of magnitude lower than in the Galactic disk. This is likely related to the fact that the bulk of the gas in the CMZ is in a warm (>100 K) and turbulent phase with little material in the prestellar phase. We present in this Letter obser...
Preprint
Supernova remnants (SNRs) contribute to regulate the star formation efficiency and evolution of galaxies. As they expand into the interstellar medium (ISM), they transfer vast amounts of energy and momentum that displace, compress and heat the surrounding material. Despite the extensive work in galaxy evolution models, it remains to be observationa...
Preprint
Amines, in particular primary amines (R-NH$_2$) are closely related to the primordial synthesis of amino acids since they share the same structural backbone. However, only limited number of amines has been identified in the ISM which prevents us from studying their chemistry as well as their relation to pre-biotic species that could lead to the eme...
Article
Context. Little is known about the chemistry of isocyanates (compounds with the functional group R-N=C=O) in the interstellar medium (ISM), as only four of them have been detected so far: isocyanate radical (NCO), isocyanic acid (HNCO), N-protonated isocyanic acid (H 2 NCO ⁺ ), and methyl isocyanate (CH 3 NCO). The molecular cloud G+0.693-0.027, lo...
Preprint
Little is known about the chemistry of isocyanates (compounds with the functional group R-N=C=O) in the interstellar medium, as only four of them have been detected so far: isocyanate radical (NCO), isocyanic acid (HNCO), N-protonated isocyanic acid (H$_2$NCO$^+$) and methyl isocyanate (CH$_3$NCO). The molecular cloud G+0.693-0.027, located in the...
Article
We report here the first detection in the interstellar medium of the cyanomidyl radical (HNCN). Using the Yebes 40m and the IRAM 30m telescopes, we have targeted the doublets of the N=2−1, 4−3, 5−4, 6−5, and 7−6 transitions of HNCN toward the molecular cloud G+0.693-0.027. We have detected three unblended lines of HNCN, these are the N=6−5 doublet...
Preprint
We report here the first detection in the interstellar medium of the cyanomidyl radical (HNCN). Using the Yebes 40m and the IRAM 30m telescopes, we have targeted the doublets of the $N$=2$-$1, 4$-$3, 5$-$4, 6$-$5, and 7$-$6 transitions of HNCN toward the molecular cloud G+0.693-0.027. We have detected three unblended lines of HNCN, these are the $N...
Article
Full-text available
Significance The detection of ethanolamine ( N H 2 C H 2 C H 2 OH) in a molecular cloud in the interstellar medium confirms that a precursor of phospholipids is efficiently formed by interstellar chemistry. Hence, ethanolamine could have been transferred from the proto-Solar nebula to planetesimals and minor bodies of the Solar System and thereafte...
Preprint
Cell membranes are a key element of life because they keep the genetic material and metabolic machinery together. All present cell membranes are made of phospholipids, yet the nature of the first membranes and the origin of phospholipids are still under debate. We report here the first detection in space of ethanolamine, NH$_2$CH$_2$CH$_2$OH, which...
Article
The chemical compounds carrying the thiol group (-SH) have been considered essential in recent prebiotic studies regarding the polymerization of amino acids. We have searched for this kind of compounds toward the Galactic Centre quiescent cloud G+0.693-0.027. We report the first detection in the interstellar space of the trans-isomer of monothiofor...
Preprint
The chemical compounds carrying the thiol group (-SH) have been considered essential in recent prebiotic studies regarding the polymerization of amino acids. We have searched for this kind of compounds toward the Galactic Centre quiescent cloud G+0.693-0.027. We report the first detection in the interstellar space of the trans-isomer of monothiofor...
Article
Using ALMA data, we have studied the HC3N and continuum emission in the starburst pseudo-ring (SB ring) and the circumnuclear disc (CND) of the SB/AGN composite galaxy NGC 1068. We have detected emission from vibrationally excited HC3N (HC3N*) only towards one star-forming region of the SB ring. Remarkably, HC3N* was not detected towards the CND de...
Article
Galaxies with nuclear bars are believed to efficiently drive gas inward, generating a nuclear starburst and possibly an active galactic nucleus. We confirm this scenario for the isolated, double-barred, luminous infrared galaxy ESO 320-G030 based on an analysis of Herschel and ALMA spectroscopic observations. Herschel /PACS and SPIRE observations o...
Preprint
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Galaxies with nuclear bars are believed to efficiently drive gas inward, generating a nuclear starburst and possibly an active galactic nucleus (AGN). We confirm this scenario for the isolated, double-barred, luminous infrared galaxy ESO 320-G030 based on an analysis of Herschel and ALMA spectroscopic observations. Herschel/PACS and SPIRE observati...
Article
One of the proposed scenarios for the origin of life is the primordial RNA world, which considers that RNA molecules were likely responsible for the storage of genetic information and the catalysis of biochemical reactions in primitive cells, before the advent of proteins and DNA. In the last decade, experiments in the field of prebiotic chemistry...
Preprint
One of the proposed scenarios for the origin of life is the primordial RNA world, which considers that RNA molecules were likely responsible for the storage of genetic information and the catalysis of biochemical reactions in primitive cells, before the advent of proteins and DNA. In the last decade, experiments in the field of prebiotic chemistry...
Preprint
Full-text available
Small imines containing up to three carbon atoms are present in the interstellar medium. As alkynyl compounds are abundant in this medium, propargylimine thus represents a promising candidate for a new interstellar detection. The goal of the present work is to perform a comprehensive laboratory investigation of the rotational spectrum of propargyli...
Article
Using 0.2 arcsec (∼3 pc) ALMA images of vibrationally excited HC3N emission (HC3N*) we reveal the presence of eight unresolved Super Hot Cores (SHCs) in the inner 160 pc of NGC 253. Our LTE and non-LTE modelling of the HC3N* emission indicate that SHCs have dust temperatures of 200–375 K, relatively high H2 densities of (1−6) × 106 cm−3 and high IR...
Preprint
Using $0.2^{\prime \prime}$ ($\sim3$ pc) ALMA images of vibrationally excited HC$_3$N emission (HC$_3$N$^*$) we reveal the presence of $8$ unresolved Super Hot Cores (SHCs) in the inner $160$ pc of NGC\,253. Our LTE and non-LTE modelling of the HC$_3$N$^*$ emission indicate that SHCs have dust temperatures of $200-375$ K, relatively high H$_2$ dens...
Preprint
In this paper we present the detailed formalism at the core of the Spectral Line Identification and Modelling (SLIM) within the MAdrid Data CUBe Analysis (MADCUBA) package and their main data handling functionalities. These tools have been developed to visualize, analyze and model large spectroscopic data cubes. We present the highly interactive on...
Article
We present the first evidence for extragalactic hydrogen recombination line maser emission in the H26α transition toward the inner 13.5 pc nuclear region of the starburst galaxy NGC 253 using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array data. In regions with complex continuum emission (dust, free-free, and synchrotron) we propose to use the rec...
Preprint
We present the first detection of extragalactic hydrogen recombination line maser emission in the H26alpha transition toward the inner 13.5 pc nuclear region of the starburst galaxy NGC 253 using ALMA data. In regions with complex continuum emission (dust, free-free and synchrotron) we propose to use the recombination line spectral index, $\alpha_\...
Article
Full-text available
A far-infrared observatory such as the {\it SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics} ({\it SPICA}), with its unprecedented spectroscopic sensitivity, would unveil the role of feedback in galaxy evolution during the last $\sim10$ Gyr of the Universe ($z=1.5-2$), through the use of far- and mid-infrared molecular and ionic fine struct...

Citations

... More recent work by Jørgensen et al. (2012) also identified glycolaldehyde toward IRAS 16293-2422. The detection of the enol isomer of glycolaldehyde (HOCH 2 CHO), which forms via a hydrogen shift to produce an R 1 R 2 C = C(OH)R 3 substructure, was reported in laboratory astrochemistry experiments by Kleimeier & Kaiser (2022) and in deep space by Rivilla et al. (2022). Z-1,2-ethenediol (HOCHCHOH), only one hydroxyl group (-OH) away from ethenetriol (3), was detected toward the molecular cloud G+0.693-0.027 ...
... More recently, the quantum chemical cluster calculations performed by Woon (2021) have proposed new surface reactions between C + , which is distributed throughout the whole Galactic Center (Harris et al., 2021), and two very abundant species, HCN and HNC (e.g. Colzi et al. 2022), embedded in H 2 O icy grain mantles. The C + ion reacts with HCN and HNC forming intermediate species that attacks neighboring H 2 O molecules of the ices, resulting into the radicals HOCHNC and HOCHCN. ...
... Upon supernova detonation at the end of a hot star's life, the resulting shock wave contributes a final burst of rapidly moving material that can trigger star formation by initiating the gravitational collapse of nearby molecular clouds. Following the supernova, the stellar remnant begins an extended afterlife as a neutron star or black hole, longlived objects that -in the deep cosmic future -will be one of the few inhabitants of the cosmos (Renedo et al. 2010;Slane et al. 2016;Cosentino et al. 2022;Grudić et al. 2022;Adams and Laughlin 1997). ...
... Given the new detection of molecules toward G+0.693-0.027 (Rodríguez-Almeida et al. 2021b; Zeng et al. 2021;Rivilla et al. 2022), it appears to exhibit chemistry unique from other hot cores like Sgr B2(N) or Orion KL. In addition, many of the species shown in Figure 5 do not have observed laboratory spectra. ...
... For instance, the scrutiny of the hyperfine structure of N-protonated isocyanic acid (H 2 NCO + ) was essential for its proper line-by-line identification toward the molecular cloud G+0693-0.027 (Rodríguez-Almeida et al. 2021). In this context, both NaNCO and NaOCN exhibit two distinct nuclei with quadrupole moment, 23 Na (I = 3/2) and 14 N (I = 1), which interact with the electric field gradient created by the rest of the molecule at each nucleus. ...
... These are refractory species that, once trapped on the mantles or in the core of the grains, cannot desorb and, therefore, become undetectable (Woods et al. 2015). In the last three years, seven new gas-phase S-bearing species were identified, most of them in TMC-1 (Cernicharo et al. 2021;Rodríguez-Almeida et al. 2021), and characterized by a C-S chemical bond. ...
... This cloud, located in the Sgr B2 region of the center of our Galaxy, is one of the most chemically rich sources in the ISM. Numerous nitrogen-bearing species, including nitriles, have been detected (see Zeng et al., 2018;Rivilla et al., 2019bRivilla et al., , 2021b: cyanoacetylene (HC 3 N), acetonitrile (CH 3 CN), cyanamide (NH 2 CN), the cyanomethyl radical (H 2 CCN), cyanomethanimine (HNCHCN), and the cyanomidyl radical (HNCN). In this work we report the detection of cyanic acid (HOCN), the tentative detections of glycolonitrile (HOCH 2 CN) and cyanoformaldehyde (HCOCN), and the first interstellar search of cyanoacetaldeyde (HCOCH 2 CN) in the ISM, for which we provide an abundance upper limit. ...
... Finally, we conclude the present minireview by presenting some original results showing that investigations on highly compressed molecular systems can be conducted via the coupling of ab initio molecular dynamics simulations with enhanced sampling techniques such as advanced metadynamics methods [72]. In particular, we have chosen an exemplary chemical reaction where glycine (H 2 NCH 2 COOH)-the simplest amino acid also found in the Murchison meteorite-is transformed into ethanolamine (H 2 NCH 2 CH 2 OH), a precursor of phospholipids recently detected in a molecular cloud in the interstellar medium [124]. Furthermore, amino alcohols are believed to stabilize short oligonucleotide sequences present in the prebiotic pool [125]. ...
... The surrounding starburst region is dominant in the IR due to the scattering off of dust grains with a characteristic temperature θ dust . In the following, we adopt θ dust = 127 K as observed by Spinoglio et al. (2012), although also higher temperatures of up to 250 K have been observed recently (Rico-Villas et al. 2021). But as previously mentioned the impact of θ dust on our results is negligible. ...
... From this parent compilation, we first restrict to systems with a morphological classification as an elliptical or S0. We then exclude any system with a luminous AGN, a bar or a pseudobulge (as such non-axisymmetric features may prefer nuclear assembly, Hu 2008;González-Alfonso et al. 2021), and any evidence for a recent merger. This results in a sample of 86 objects, listed in Table 2 and plotted in Figure 3. ...