Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon processing in the blast wave of the supernova remnant N132D.
TAPPE A., RHO J., BOERSMA C. and MICELOTTA E.R.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph 14-36 µm mapping observations of the supernova remnant N132D in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This study focuses on the processing of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that we previously identified in the southern blast wave. The mid-infrared spectra show strong continuum emission from shock-heated dust and a unique, nearly featureless plateau in the 15-20 µm region, which we attribute to PAH molecules. The typical PAH emission bands observed in the surrounding interstellar medium ahead of the blast wave disappear, which indicates shock processing of PAH molecules. The PAH plateau appears most strongly at the outer edge of the blast wave and coincides with diffuse X-ray emission that precedes the brightest X-ray and optical filaments. This suggests that PAH molecules in the surrounding medium are swept up and processed in the hot gas of the blast wave shock, where they survive the harsh conditions long enough to be detected. We also observe a broad emission feature at 20 µm appearing with the PAH plateau. We speculate that this feature is either due to FeO dust grains or connected to the processing of PAHs in the supernova blast wave shock.