Zaleski, Daniel P., Seifert, Nathan A., Steber, Amanda L., Muckle, Matt T., Loomis, Ryan A., Corby, Joanna F., Martinez, Oscar, Jr., Crabtree, Kyle N., Jewell, Philip R., Hollis, Jan M., Lovas, Frank J., Vasquez, David, Nyiramahirwe, Jolie, Sciortino, Nicole, Johnson, Kennedy, McCarthy, Michael C., Remijan, Anthony J., and Pate, Brooks H. 2013. "Detection of E-Cyanomethanimine toward Sagittarius B2(N) in the Green Bank Telescope PRIMOS Survey." Astrophysical Journal Letters 765:L10. https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/765/1/L10
The detection of E-cyanomethanimine (E-HNCHCN) toward Sagittarius B2(N) is made by comparing the publicly available Green Bank Telescope (GBT) PRIMOS survey spectra to laboratory rotational spectra from a reaction product screening experiment. The experiment uses broadband molecular rotational spectroscopy to monitor the reaction products produced in an electric discharge source using a gas mixture of NH3 and CH3CN. Several transition frequency coincidences between the reaction product screening spectra and previously unassigned interstellar rotational transitions in the PRIMOS survey have been assigned to E-cyanomethanimine. A total of eight molecular rotational transitions of this molecule between 9 and 50 GHz are observed with the GBT. E-cyanomethanimine, often called the HCN dimer, is an important molecule in prebiotic chemistry because it is a chemical intermediate in proposed synthetic routes of adenine, one of the two purine nucleobases found in DNA and RNA. New analyses of the rotational spectra of both E-cyanomethanimine and Z-cyanomethanimine that incorporate previous millimeter-wave measurements are also reported.