Hot corinos are the warm central regions of solar-type protostars. They have acquired an increasing importance because they are rich in organic molecules such as methanol (CH3OH), glycolaldehyde (CH2OHCHO), and formamide (NH2CHO), which may have fed the nascent planets and small bodies of the future planetary system. In addition, there is mounting evidence that they represent the very early phases of our Solar System’s birth, which was very likely also characterized by a rich organic chemistry nowadays found in comets and meteorites. This initial chemistry may have shaped the subsequent evolutionary stages up to the level of chemical complexity that we know exists on Earth today, with life being its ultimate expression. The Solar System is also known to have undergone a violent phase during its formation, in which energetic particles were ejected by the young proto-Sun, impacting and modifying the chemistry of its surrounding gas and dust envelope. Studying molecular chemistry in hot corinos and its dependency on physical conditions such as temperature, density, and irradiation by energetic particles, is therefore crucial to understand our very own origins.
The thesis project aims to obtain the 50-500 au scale physical structure of several hot corinos in our Galaxy, as well as the census of their molecular composition. A comparison with the chemical composition of pristine Solar System bodies will be necessary to understand what fraction of Solar System material is inherited from the hot corino phase. To this end, the ESR will (i) analyze observational data obtained from several Large Programs of the group using last generation (sub-)millimeter observatories such as IRAM-NOEMA and ALMA interferometers; (ii) plan and gather new complementary observations; and (iii) compare these observations with the predictions of models developed by the ACO team.
The thesis is part of the ACO network, whose ultimate goal is to reconstruct the early history of the Solar System by comparing presently forming solar-type planetary systems with its small bodies. The comparison will be based on the most advanced astrochemical knowledge, which will be developed by the interdisciplinary ACO team.