Journal Article

The dark lane of the planetary nebula NGC 6302<sup>⋆</sup><sup>†</sup>

M. Matsuura, A. A. Zijlstra, F. J. Molster, L. B. F. M. Waters, H. Nomura, R. Sahai and M. G. Hoare

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 359, issue 1, pages 383-400
Published in print May 2005 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2005 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.08903.x
The dark lane of the planetary nebula NGC 6302⋆†

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Abstract

The butterfly-shaped planetary nebula, NGC 6302, shows a unique, dense equatorial dark lane, which is presumably a dusty disc, obscuring an unobserved, very hot central star. We trace the structure of this disc using Hubble Space Telescope Hα and [N ii] images, Very Large Telescope L-and M-band images at 0.4-arcsec resolution, including Brα and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) images, and a James Clerk Maxwell Telescope 450-μm image. Extinction maps are derived from these images. Within the disc, the extinction is A= 5–7 mag and ABrα= 1–2 mag. The 450-μm map shows a north–south elongated central core, tracing the massive dust disc, and extended emission from dust in the bipolar flows. A fit to the spectral energy distribution yields the disc dust mass of 0.03 M. The innermost region shows an ionized shell. The orientation of the polar axis shows a marked change between shell, disc and inner and outer outflow. The structures are well described by the warped-disc model of Icke (2003). PAH images are presented: PAH emission is found in the shell but avoids the disc. An infrared source is found close to the expected location of the central star.

Keywords: dust, extinction; ISM: jets and outflows; planetary nebulae: individual: NGC 6302

Journal Article.  8481 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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