EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 367, Number 2, February IV 2001
Page(s) 674 - 693
Section Diffuse matter in space
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20000433

A&A 367, 674-693 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20000433

Low-excitation atomic gas around evolved stars

II. ISO observations of O-rich nebulae
A. Castro-Carrizo1, V. Bujarrabal1, D. Fong2, M. Meixner2, A. G. G. M. Tielens3, W. B. Latter4 and M. J. Barlow5

1  Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, Apartado 1143, 28800 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
2  University of Illinois, 1002 W. Green St., Urbana, Il 61801, USA
3  Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
4  SIRTF Science Center/IPAC, CalTech, MS 314-6, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
5  Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

(Received 11 July 2000 / Accepted 24 November 2000 )

We have observed atomic fine-structure lines in the far-infrared (FIR) from 12 oxygen-rich evolved stars. The sample is composed of mostly proto-planetary nebulae (PPNe) and some planetary nebulae (PNe) and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. ISO LWS and SWS observations of [O I], [C II], [N II], [Si I], [Si II], [S I], [Fe I], and [Fe II] lines were obtained. Taking into account also the sample presented by Fong et al. (Paper I) of carbon-rich evolved stars, we find that PPNe emit in these low-excitation atomic transitions only when the central star is hotter than $\sim$10 000 K. This result suggests that such lines predominantly arise from photodissociation regions (PDRs), and not from shocked regions. The line widths determined from our Fabry-Perot data also suggest that the FIR lines arise from relatively quiescent PDR gas, as opposed to shocked gas. Our results are in reasonable agreement with predictions from PDR emission models, allowing the estimation of the density of the emitting layers by comparison with the model results. On the other hand, the comparison with predictions of the emission from J-type and C-type shocked regions suggests that detected lines do not come from shocks. The [C II] line flux has been used to measure the mass of the low-excitation atomic component in PPNe, since this transition has been found to be a useful model-independent probe to estimate the total mass of these PDRs. The derivation of the mass formula and assumptions made are also discussed.

Key words: atomic data -- stars: AGB and post-AGB -- (Stars:) circumstellar matter -- stars: mass-loss -- (ISM:) planetary nebulae

Offprint request: A. Castro-Carrizo, carrizo@oan.es

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