Dissolving the Anatomy of the Planetary Nebula Using the Hubble Space Telescope


On the left is an image of the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7027) captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2019 and released in 2020. Further analysis by the researchers produced the RGB image on the right, indicating extinction due to dust, as anticipated. Relative power of two hydrogen emission lines as red; Emissions from sulfur, relative to hydrogen, as green; And emission from blue to iron. Sincerely: STScI, Alyssa Pagan

Images of two iconic planet nebula Hubble Space Telescope They are revealing new information on how they develop their dramatic features. Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Green Bank Observatory presented new findings about the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) and the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7027) at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Friday, January 15, 2021.

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 celebrated its full, panchromic capabilities in 2019 and early 2020, and astronomers involved in the project used near-ultraviolet light-emission images to learn more about their properties is. Binary-star-driven planetary nebula shaping was the first-of-a-kind punchchromatic imaging survey designed to understand the manufacturing process and test models.

“We’re dissecting them,” said Joel Kastner, a professor at RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and School of Physics and Astronomy. “We are able to see the effect of the dying central star as to how it is being shed and its extracted material. Now we see that the material being thrown to the central star is being dominated by ionized gas, where cooler dust is dominated, and even how hot gas is being ionized, regardless of the star’s UV. By or due to a collision caused by its current, strong winds. “

Butterfly Nebula NGC 6302

At the top is an image of the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2019 and released in 2020. Further analysis by researchers produced an RGB image at the bottom, indicating extinction due to dust, as estimated from the relative strength of the two hydrogen emission lines as red; Emissions of nitrogen, relative to hydrogen, as green; And emission from blue to iron. Sincerely: STScI, APOD / J Schmidt; J. Kastner (RIT) et al.

Kastner said analysis of the new HST images of the Butterfly Nebula is confirming that the nebula was fired nearly 2,000 years ago – an ibrinkle by astronomy standards – and established that the S-shaped. The emission of iron which helps to give it “wings” is even smaller. Strikingly, they found that when astronomers first assumed they were located in the central star of the nebula, the previously identified star is not actually associated with the nebula and is much closer to Earth than the Butterfly Nebula. Kastner said he hoped that with future study James Webb Space Telescope May help locate the actual dying star in Nebula’s heart.

The team’s ongoing analysis of the Jewel Bug Nebula is built on a 25-year baseline dating back to Hubble Imaging. Paula Morga Baz, an astronomy and technology Ph.D. DeKalb, Il. K student called the nebula “notable for its unusual juxtaposition of spherical symmetric, axial, and point-symmetric (bipolar) structures.” “The nebula retains a large mass of molecular gas and dust, despite harboring a warm central star and exhibiting high excitation states,” said Morga.

NGC 7027 Map

The RGB image on the right reveals the spatial separation of the molecules CO + (red) and HCO + (blue), suggestive of UV and X-ray processes, respectively. Very deep optical image of [O III] (Green) provides a structure of ionized atomic structure and radio molecular observations. Sincerely: STScI, Alyssa Pagan; J. Bublitz (NRAO / GBO) et al.

Jessie Bublitz ’20 Ph.D. (Astrophysical Sciences and Technology), now a postdoctoral researcher at the Green Bank Observatory, has expanded team analysis of NGC 7027 with radio images from the Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOMA) telescope, which has identified molecular trailers. How ultraviolet is reflected. X-ray light continues to change the chemistry of the nebula. Combined observations from telescopes at other wavelengths, such as the Hubble, and bright molecules CO + and HCO + NOEMA, indicate how different regions of NGC 7027 are affected by high-energy radiation from their central star.

“We’re very excited about these findings,” Bublitz said. “We expected to find a structure that clearly showed CO + and HCO + spatially or completely within specific regions, which we did. This is the first map of NGC 7027, or any planet nebula, in the molecule CO +, and only the second CO + map of an astronomical source. “

Meeting: 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society

In addition to Kastner, Moraga, and Bublitz, the research team involved in HST imaging work included Rodolfo Montez Jr. ’10 Ph.D. (Astronomy and Technology) from Harvard-Smithsonian CfA; From Bruce Balik University of Washington; As well as Adam Frank and Eric Blackman from the University of Rochester. Bublitz’s international team of collaborators on NGC 7027’s radio molecular line imaging includes Kastner, Montez Jr. and astronomers from Spain, France and Brazil.

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