Cyclopropenylidene - Spectroscopy


Detections of c-C3H2 in the ISM rely on observations of molecular transitions using rotational spectroscopy. Since c-C3H2 is an asymmetric top, the rotational energy levels are split and the spectrum becomes complicated. Also, it should be noticed that C3H2 has spin isomers much like the spin isomers of hydrogen. These ortho and para forms exist in a 3:1 ratio and should be thought of as distinct molecules. Although the ortho and para forms look identical chemically, the energy levels are different, meaning that the molecules have different spectroscopic transitions.

When observing c-C3H2 in the interstellar medium, there are only certain transitions that can be seen. In general, only a few lines are available for use in astronomical detection. Many lines are unobservable because they are absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere. The only lines that can be observed are those that fall in the radio window. The more commonly observed lines are the 110 to 101 transition at 18343 MHz and the 212 to 101 transition at 85338 MHz of ortho c-C3H2.

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