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THE SHOCK-EXCITED P-CYGNI NEBULA

BARLOW, MJ; DREW, JE; MEABURN, J; MASSEY, RM; (1994) THE SHOCK-EXCITED P-CYGNI NEBULA. MON NOT R ASTRON SOC , 268 (2) L29 - L34.

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Abstract

We have obtained images in the [N II] lambda6584 line of the nebula around the luminous blue variable star P Cygni, using a 4 arcsec wide occulting strip. A nearly circular inner nebula is found, containing many bright condensations, with angular diameters of 21.4 arcsec in the east-west direction and 23.8 arcsec in the north-south direction. Two fainter outer arcs of [N II] emission are also visible, with angular diameters of 1 and 1.5 arcmin. A high-resolution 4900-9000 angstrom UES spectrum, obtained at a position 9 arcsec west of P Cygni, shows the [Ni II] lambdalambda7378, 7412 doublet to be the strongest feature emitted by the nebula. High-resolution long-slit MES spectra were obtained at multiple positions across the bright inner nebula in order to investigate the density, dynamics and age of the nebula. Our [N II] lambda6584 spectra show broad velocity components with an overall expansion velocity of 140 km s-1, while our [Ni II] lambda7412 spectra show much narrower velocity components with an overall expansion velocity of only 110 km s-1. Our results are consistent with the narrow [Ni II] emission originating from dense, mainly neutral knots which are being over-taken by the stellar wind from P Cyg at a relative velocity of 100 km s-1, with the broader irregular [N II] and [S II] emission arising from bow shocks around the knots. This model provides a natural explanation for the larger [N II] expansion velocities compared to those of [Ni II].

Type:Article
Title:THE SHOCK-EXCITED P-CYGNI NEBULA
Keywords:LINE, PROFILES, STARS, INDIVIDUAL, P-CYGNI, STARS, MASS-LOSS, ISM, BUBBLES, LARGE MAGELLANIC CLOUD, CIRCUMSTELLAR SHELLS, AG CARINAE, B1 IA+, WIND, SPECTROSCOPY, EMISSION, STARS
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy

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