Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 382, 1607-1622 (2007/December-3)
A centimetre-wave excess over free-free emission in planetary nebulae.
CASASSUS S., NYMAN L.-A., DICKINSON C. and PEARSON T.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report a centimetre-wave (cm-wave, 5-31GHz) excess over free-free emission in planetary nebulae (PNe). Accurate 31- and 250-GHz measurements show that the 31-GHz flux densities in our sample are systematically higher than the level of optically thin free-free continuum extrapolated from 250-GHz. The 31-GHz excess is observed, within one standard deviation, in all 18 PNe with reliable 31- and 250-GHz data, and is significant in nine PNe. The only exception is the peculiar object M2-9, whose radio spectrum is that of an optically thick stellar wind. On average the fraction of non-free-free emission represents 51 per cent of the total flux density at 31GHz, with a scatter of 11 per cent. The average 31-250GHz spectral index of our sample is <α25031> = -0.43±0.03 (in flux density, with a scatter of 0.14). The 31-250GHz drop is reminiscent of the anomalous foreground observed in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) by cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy experiments. The 5-31GHz spectral indices are consistent with both flat spectra and spinning dust emissivities, given the 10 per cent calibration uncertainty of the comparison 5-GHz data. However, a detailed study of the objects with the largest cm-excess, including the low-frequency data available in the literature, shows that present spinning dust models alone cannot explain the cm-wave excess in PNe. Although we have no definitive interpretation of our data, the least implausible explanation involves a synchrotron component absorbed by a cold nebular screen. We give flux densities for 37 objects at 31GHz, and for 26 objects at 250GHz.
2007 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2007 RAS
radiation mechanisms: general - planetary nebulae: general - radio continuum: ISM - submillimetre
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