Observational results of a multi-telescope campaign in search of interstellar urea [(NH2)2CO]

Anthony J. Remijan, Lewis E. Snyder, Brett A. McGuire, Hsin Lun Kuo, Leslie W. Looney, Douglas N. Friedel, G. Yu Golubiatnikov, Frank J. Lovas, V. V. Ilyushin, E. A. Alekseev, S. F. Dyubko, Benjamin McCall, Jan M. Hollis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we present the results of an observational search for gas phase urea [(NH2)2CO] observed toward the Sgr B2(N-LMH) region. We show data covering urea transitions from 100 GHz to 250 GHz from five different observational facilities: the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland-Association (BIMA) Array, the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA), the NRAO 12 m telescope, the IRAM 30 m telescope, and the Swedish-ESO Submillimeter Telescope (SEST). The results show that the features ascribed to urea can be reproduced across the entire observed bandwidth and all facilities by best-fit column density, temperature, and source size parameters which vary by less than a factor of two between observations merely by adjusting for telescope-specific parameters. Interferometric observations show that the emission arising from these transitions is cospatial and compact, consistent with the derived source sizes and emission from a single species. Despite this evidence, the spectral complexity of both (NH2)2CO and of Sgr B2(N) makes the definitive identification of this molecule challenging. We present observational spectra, laboratory data, and models, and discuss our results in the context of a possible molecular detection of urea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number77
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2014


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: individual objects (SagISM: ittarius B2(N))
  • ISM: molecules
  • astrochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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