Journal Article

Optical and mid-infrared observations of the planetary nebula NGC 6781

J. P. Phillips, Gerardo Ramos-Larios and Martín A. Guerrero

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 415, issue 1, pages 513-524
Published in print July 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18722.x
Optical and mid-infrared observations of the planetary nebula NGC 6781

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Although the planetary nebula NGC 6781 appears to possess an elliptical morphology, its kinematic and emission characteristics are in many ways unusual, and it is possible that it may represent a bipolar source oriented close to the line of sight. We shall present deep imaging of this nebula in [O iii]λ5007, Hα and [N ii]λ6584, and using broad-band (F555W and F814W) filters centred at λ8269 and λ5252. These were taken with the 2.56-m Nordic Optical Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope. This is combined with mid-infrared (MIR) imaging and spectroscopy acquired with the Spitzer Space Telescope (Spitzer), and near-infrared spectroscopy deriving from the Infrared Space Observatory. These reveal details of the complex [N ii] structure associated with extended shell emission, perhaps associated with highly inclined bipolar lobes. We also note the presence of narrow absorbing filaments and clumps projected against the surface of the envelope, components which may be responsible for much of the molecular emission. We point out that such clumps may be responsible for complex source structure in the MIR, and give rise to asymmetries in emission along the major axis of the source. Although most of the MIR H2 v= 0–0 emission is clearly concentrated in the bright interior shell, we shall also find evidence for extended emission to the north and south, and determine rotational excitation temperatures of order ∼980 K.

Keywords: ISM: jets and outflows; ISM: lines and bands; planetary nebulae: individual: NGC 40; infrared: ISM

Journal Article.  6693 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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