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Paper: Following the Water from 1969 to Herschel
Volume: 417, Submillimeter Astrophysics and Technology: A Symposium Honoring Thomas G. Phillips
Page: 59
Authors: Melnick, G. J.
Abstract: Water continues to be one of the more compelling molecules for astronomers, despite the difficulties associated with its (non-masing) detection other than from space. Water forms in the gas-phase and on grains in ways that produce a large number of other molecules, thus making the distribution and abundance of water a very useful probe of our understanding of astrochemistry. In high abundance, water’s large dipole moment and many available transitions make it a powerful coolant of the gas, thus making it an important molecule for understanding the thermal balance in dense molecular gas. Finally, with the discovery of proto-planetary disks and exoplanets, the transport, formation, and abundance of water within planet-forming sources has assumed heightened interest. This talk briefly reviews the current understanding of water’s abundance and distribution in dense molecular clouds and behind shocks, such as those generated by outflows. The further contributions possible with the Herschel Space Observatory are also discussed.
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