A COMPLETE SPECTROSCOPIC MAP AND NARROW-BAND IMAGING OF SMALL PAHS IN THE RED RECTANGLE NEBULA
Creators:Vijh, Uma P.
Witt, Adolf N.
York, Donald G.
Woodgate, Bruce E.
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Publisher:Ohio State University
Electronic flurescence spectra (peak $\sim$ 375 nm) in reflection nebulae have helped to identify the largest molecules that have been detected so far in the interstellar medium: 3-4 ringed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This detection of blue luminescence (BL) by small, neutral PAHs was first made in the peculiar, proto-planetary nebula, the Red Rectangle. This first detection and subsequent observations in other reflection nebulae reveal spatial variations in the BL spectrum indicating a change in the size distribution/ionisation state of the emitters. Data from an ongoing, complete spectroscopic survey and narrow-band imaging of the Red Rectangle will be presented. This study sheds light on the spatial distribution, ionization state and the size distributions of the small PAHs in this nebula.
Author Institution: Ritter Astrophysical Research Center, Univeristy of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606; University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771; McDonald Observatory, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712
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