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2016ApJ...832...51B - Astrophys. J., 832, 51-51 (2016/November-3)

The charge state of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons across reflection nebulae: PAH charge balance and calibration.


Abstract (from CDS):

Low-resolution Spitzer spectral map data (>1700 spectra) of ten reflection nebulae (RNe) fields are analyzed using the data and tools available through the NASA Ames PAH IR Spectroscopic Database. The PAH emission is broken down into PAH charge state using a database fitting approach. Here, the physics of the PAH emission process is taken into account and uses target appropriate parameters, e.g., a stellar radiation model for the exciting star. The breakdown results are combined with results derived using the traditional PAH band strength approach, which interprets particular PAH band strength ratios as proxies for the PAH charge state, e.g., the 6.2/11.2 µm PAH band strength ratio. These are successfully calibrated against their database equivalent; the PAH ionized fraction (fi). The PAH ionized fraction is converted into the PAH ionization parameter, which relates the PAH ionized fraction to the strength of the radiation field, gas temperature and electron density. The behavior of the 12.7 µm PAH band is evaluated as a tracer for PAH ionization and erosion. The plot of the 8.6 versus 11.2 µm PAH band strength for the northwest photo-dominated region (PDR) in NGC 7023 is shown to be a robust diagnostic template for the PAH ionized fraction. Remarkably, most of the other RNe fall within the limits set by NGC 7023. Finally, PAH spectroscopic templates are constructed and verified as principal components. Template spectra derived from NGC 7023 and NGC 2023 compare extremely well with each other, with those derived for NGC 7023 successfully reproducing the PAH emission observed from NGC 2023.

Abstract Copyright: © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Journal keyword(s): astrochemistry - infrared: ISM - molecular data - photon-dominated region , PDR - techniques: spectroscopic - techniques: spectroscopic

Simbad objects: 16

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