The Astrophysical Journal
The American Astronomical Society
We present a detection of three lines of the H+3 ion in the near-infrared spectrum of the Herbig Be star LkHalpha 101. H+3 is the principal initiator of gas-phase chemistry in interstellar clouds and can be used to constrain the ionization rate or the path length through interstellar material along the line of sight. Essentially all of the observed H+3 column of (2.2+/-0.3)×1014 cm-2 toward LkHalpha 101 originates in the same dense, dark cloud; less than 1 mag of the ~11 total magnitudes of visual extinction is attributable to diffuse material. Constraints on the density [1×104cm-3
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