Journal Article

Mapping and spectroscopy of the planetary nebula NGC 7009 in the visual and infrared

J. P. Phillips, L. C. Cuesta and G. Ramos-Larios

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 409, issue 3, pages 881-902
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Mapping and spectroscopy of the planetary nebula NGC 7009 in the visual and infrared

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NGC 7009 is a fascinating example of a high-excitation, elliptical planetary nebula (PN) containing circumnebular rings, and FLIERs and jets along the major axis. We present visual spectroscopy along multiple position angles through the nucleus, taken with the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional (Mexico); mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy and imaging acquired using the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) and Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), and narrow-band imaging obtained using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The data show that the mid-infrared (MIR) continuum is dominated by a broad ≈100 K continuum, and a strong excess attributable to crystalline silicate emission. The primary peaks in this excess are similar to those observed in Forsterite and clino- and ortho-enstatite. The MIR images, by contrast, appear to be dominated by ionic transitions, with the 8.991 μm transition of [Ar iii] being important in the 8.0-μm band. The morphology and size of the envelope are found to vary with wavelength, with the largest dimensions occurring at 8.0 μm – a trend which is also reflected in an increase in the 8.0 μm/4.5 μm and 5.8 μm/4.5 μm ratios with distance from the nucleus. The visual spectroscopy permits us to map density and temperature throughout the shell, and confirm that the lowest values of ne are located close to the ansae, where densities appear to be of the order of 900–2600 cm−3. We provide mean line intensities for 116 transitions in six regions of the shell, and use mapping to confirm a systematic increase in excitation in the outer portions of the envelope. We finally use the ground-based spectroscopy, and ratioing of HST images to investigate the presence of shocks in the ansae and interior envelope. It is concluded that line ratios in the ansae may be partially consistent with shock excitation, although these features are primarily dominated by photoionization. We also note evidence for shock excitation at the limits of the interior elliptical shell, and for multiple bow-shock structures centred upon the ansae. The orientations of the easterly bow-shocks may have varied over time, indicating precession of the collimating engine at a rate of deg yr−1, whilst the outward splaying of the westerly ‘jet’ appears consistent with shock refraction modelling. We finally note that HST observations of the halo rings show them to have widths of the order of ∼1–3 arcsec, and steep changes in surface brightness consistent with local shock activity.

Keywords: dust, extinction; ISM: jets and outflows; planetary nebulae: individual: NGC 7009; infrared: ISM

Journal Article.  11007 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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