Journal Article

The optical emission nebulae in the vicinity of WR 48 (Θ Mus): true Wolf–Rayet ejecta or unconnected supernova remnant?

M. Stupar, Q. A. Parker and M. D. Filipović

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 401, issue 3, pages 1760-1769
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15814.x
The optical emission nebulae in the vicinity of WR 48 (Θ Mus): true Wolf–Rayet ejecta or unconnected supernova remnant?

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During searches for new optical Galactic supernova remnants (SNRs) in the high-resolution, high-sensitivity Anglo-Australian Observatory/United Kingdom Schmidt Telescope Hα survey of the southern Galactic plane, we uncovered a variety of filamentary and more diffuse, extensive nebular structures in the vicinity of Wolf–Rayet (WR) star 48 (Θ Muscae), only some of which were previously recognized. We used the double-beam spectrograph of the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatory 2.3-m to obtain low- and mid-resolution spectra of selected new filaments and structures in this region. Despite spectral similarities between the optical spectra of WR star shells and SNRs, a careful assessment of the new spectral and morphological evidence from our deep Hα imagery suggests that the putative shell of Θ Mus is not a WR shell at all, as has been commonly accepted, but is rather part of a more complex area of large-scale overlapping nebulosities in the general field of the WR star. The emission comprises a possible new optical SNR and a likely series of complex H ii regions. Finally, we present the intriguing detection of apparent collimated, directly opposing, ionized outflows close to Θ Mus itself which appears unique among such stars.

Keywords: stars: individual: WR 48, HD 113904, Theta (Θ) Muscae; stars: winds, outflows; stars: Wolf–Rayet; H ii regions; ISM: individual: G304.4−3.1; supernova remnants

Journal Article.  7918 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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