Herschel Planetary Nebula Survey (HerPlaNS) - First detection of OH+ in planetary nebulae
Publication date: 18 June 2014
Authors: Aleman, I., et al.
Aims. We report the first detections of OH+ emission in planetary nebulae (PNe). Methods. As part of an imaging and spectroscopy survey of 11 PNe in the far-IR using the PACS and SPIRE instruments aboard the Herschel Space Observatory, we performed a line survey in these PNe over the entire spectral range between 51μm and 672μm to look for new detections. Results. The rotational emission lines of OH+ at 152.99, 290.20, 308.48, and 329.77μm were detected in the spectra of three planetary nebulae: NGC 6445, NGC 6720, and NGC 6781. Excitation temperatures and column densities derived from these lines are in the range of 27-47 K and 2 × 1010 - 4 × 1011 cm-2, respectively. Conclusions. In PNe, the OH+ rotational line emission appears to be produced in the photodissociation region (PDR) in these objects. The emission of OH+ is observed only in PNe with hot central stars (Teff> 100 000 K), suggesting that high-energy photons may play a role in OH+ formation and its line excitation in these objects, as seems to be the case for ultraluminous galaxies.Link to publication