We have detected interstellar acetic acid (CH3COOH) toward the hot core source W51e2. This is the first new source of interstellar CH 3COOH since its discovery by Mehringer et al. toward the hot core source Sgr B2(N-LMH). In this paper, we report CH3COOH observations at two new frequencies toward Sgr B2(N-LMH) with the OVRO array and at 10 frequencies toward W51e2 with the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association array. Toward Sgr B2(N-LMH) the agreement in positions, intensities, and velocities between the two lines from the previous study and the two new lines strongly indicates that all four CH3COOH lines are coming from a common source. Using all four detected transitions, we find an average column density of 6.1(6) × 1015 cm-2, a fractional abundance of (0.8-6) × 10-10 relative to H2 and (3-6) × 10-2 relative to its isomer methyl formate (HCOOCH3). Toward W51e2, we find a CH3COOH column density of 1.7(5) × 1016cm- with a fractional abundance of 1.7 × 10 -9 relative to H2 and (1-6) × 10-2 relative to HCOOCH3. Furthermore, we find the distribution of CH 3COOH toward W51e2 is coincident with HCOOCH3, thus suggesting a similar formation mechanism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas