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Title: The helix nebula viewed in HCO{sup +}: Large-scale mapping of the J = 1 → 0 transition

The J = 1 → 0 transition of HCO{sup +} at 89 GHz has been mapped across the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) with 70'' spatial resolution (1.68 km s{sup –1} velocity resolution) using the Arizona Radio Observatory 12 m telescope. This work is the first large-scale mapping project of a dense gas tracer (n(H{sub 2}) ∼ 10{sup 5} cm{sup –3}) in old planetary nebulae. Observations of over 200 positions encompassing the classical optical image were conducted with a 3σ noise level of ∼20 mK. HCO{sup +} was detected at most positions, often exhibiting multiple velocity components indicative of complex kinematic structures in dense gas. The HCO{sup +} spectra suggest that the Helix is composed of a bipolar, barrel-like structure with red- and blue-shifted halves, symmetric with respect to the central star and oriented ∼10° east from the line of sight. A second bipolar, higher velocity outflow exists as well, situated along the direction of the Helix 'plumes'. The column density of HCO{sup +} across the Helix is N {sub tot} ∼ 1.5 × 10{sup 10}-5.0 × 10{sup 11} cm{sup –2}, with an average value N {sub ave} ∼ 1 × 10{sup 11} cm{sup –2}, corresponding to an abundance, relative tomore » H{sub 2}, of f ∼ 1.4 × 10{sup –8}. This value is similar to that observed in young PN, and contradicts chemical models, which predict that the abundance of HCO{sup +} decreases with nebular age. This study indicates that polyatomic molecules readily survive the ultraviolet field of the central white dwarf, and can be useful in tracing nebular morphology in the very late stages of stellar evolution.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arizona, 1306 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  2. Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory, Arizona Radio Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22342044
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 778; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; DENSITY; GHZ RANGE; HYDROGEN; IMAGES; MAPPING; MOLECULES; PLANETARY NEBULAE; RADIO TELESCOPES; SPATIAL RESOLUTION; SPECTRA; STAR EVOLUTION; SYMMETRY; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; VELOCITY; WHITE DWARF STARS