A search for propylene oxide and glycine in Sagittarius B2 (LMH) and Orion

M. R. Cunningham*, P. A. Jones, P. D. Godfrey, D. M. Cragg, I. Bains, M. G. Burton, P. Calisse, N. H M Crighton, S. J. Curran, T. M. Davis, J. T. Dempsey, B. Fulton, M. G. Hidas, T. Hill, L. Kedziora-Chudczer, V. Minier, M. B. Pracy, C. Purcell, J. Shobbrook, T. Travouillon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)


We have used the Mopra Telescope to search for glycine and the simple chiral molecule propylene oxide in the Sgr B2 (LMH) and Orion KL, in the 3-mm band. We have not detected either species, but have been able to put sensitive upper limits on the abundances of both molecules. The 3σ upper limits derived for glycine conformer I are 3.7 × 1014 cm-2 in both Orion-KL and Sgr B2 (LMH), comparable to the reported detections of conformer 1 by Kuan et al. However, as our values are 3σ upper limits rather than detections we conclude that this weighs against confirming the detection of Kuan et al. We find upper limits for the glycine II column density of 7.7 × 1012 cm-2 in both Orion-KL and Sgr B2 (LMH), in agreement with the results of Combes et al. The results presented here show that glycine conformer II is not present in the extended gas at the levels detected by Kuan et al. for conformer I. Our ATCA results have ruled out the detection of glycine (both conformers I and II) in the compact hot core of the LMH at the levels reported, so we conclude that it is unlikely that Kuan et al. have detected glycine in either Sgr B2 or Orion-KL. We find upper limits for propylene oxide abundance of 3.0 × 1014 cm-2 in Orion-KL and 6.7 × 1014 cm-2 in Sgr B2 (LMH). We have detected fourteen features in Sgr B2 and four features in Orion-KL which have not previously been reported in the interstellar medium, but have not been able to plausibly assign these transitions to any carrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1210
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • ISM: individual: Orion
  • ISM: individual: Sgr B2
  • ISM: molecules
  • Radio lines: ISM


Dive into the research topics of 'A search for propylene oxide and glycine in Sagittarius B2 (LMH) and Orion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this