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Irradiation Investigation: Exploring the Molecular Gas in NGC 7293

Abstract : Background: Many planetary nebulae retain significant quantities of molecular gas and dust despite their signature hostile radiation environments and energetic shocks. Photoionization and dissociation by extreme UV and (often) X-ray emission from their central stars drive the chemical processing of this material. Their well-defined geometries make planetary nebulae ideal testbeds for modeling the effects of radiation-driven heating and chemistry on molecular gas in photodissociation regions. Methods: We have carried out IRAM 30m/APEX 12m/ALMA radio studies of the Helix Nebula and its molecule-rich globules, exploiting the unique properties of the Helix to follow up our discovery of an anti-correlation between HNC/HCN line intensity ratio and central star UV Luminosity. Results: Analysis of HNC/HCN across the Helix Nebula reveals the line ratio increases with distance from the central star, and thus decreasing incident UV flux, indicative of the utility of the HNC/HCN ratio as a tracer of UV irradiation in photodissociation environments. However, modeling of the observed regions suggests HNC/HCN should decrease with greater distance, contrary to the observed trend. Conclusion: HNC/HCN acts as an effective tracer of UV irradiation of cold molecular gas. Further model studies are required.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 27, 2022 - 3:14:14 PM
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Jesse Bublitz, Joel Kastner, Pierre Hily-Blant, Thierry Forveille, Miguel Santander-García, et al.. Irradiation Investigation: Exploring the Molecular Gas in NGC 7293. Galaxies, 2020, 8, pp.32. ⟨10.3390/galaxies8020032⟩. ⟨insu-03705214⟩

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