EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 441, Number 3, October III 2005
Page(s) 1031 - 1038
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20053118

A&A 441, 1031-1038 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20053118

The orbiting gas disk in the Red Rectangle

V. Bujarrabal1, A. Castro-Carrizo2, J. Alcolea3 and R. Neri2

1  Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, Apartado 112, 28803 Alcalá de Henares, Spain
    e-mail: v.bujarrabal@oan.es
2  IRAM, 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 St.-Martin-d'Hères, France
    e-mail: ccarrizo@iram.fr, neri@iram.fr
3  Observatorio Astronómico Nacional, C/Alfonso XII, 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain
    e-mail: j.alcolea@oan.es

(Received 23 March 2005 / Accepted 26 April 2005)

We present accurate maps of the CO J=2-1 and 1-0 lines made with the Plateau de Bure interferometer of the gas disk around the central star(s) of the Red Rectangle, a well known protoplanetary nebula. We confirm that the molecular gas in this source forms a disk perpendicular to the conspicuous axis of symmetry of the optical nebula and that this disk is in rotation. We present detailed modeling of the CO emission and extensive discussion of the accuracy of the values fitted for the different parameters. The outer radius of the disk is ~ $2.7\times 10^{16}$ ( $\frac{D({\rm pc})}{710}$) cm, as a function of the assumed distance D, which is thought to vary between 380 and 710 pc. The rotation is found to be Keplerian, at least in the inner disk. From this velocity field, we derive a central mass between 0.9 $M_{\odot}$, for a distance of 380 pc, and 1.7 $M_{\odot}$, for 710 pc. Previous studies of the nature of the stellar component favor the highest values. In the outer disk, we deduce the presence of a slow expansion velocity (~0.8 km s-1), superimposed on rotation. We find gas temperatures decreasing from ~400 to 30 K across the disk and densities $\ga$ $3\times 10^4$ cm-3.

Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB -- stars: circumstellar matter -- radio-lines: stars -- planetary nebulae: individual: Red Rectangle

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