Volume 479, Number 3, March I 2008
|Page(s)||L41 - L44|
|Published online||17 January 2008|
Letter to the Editor
Extended Red Emission and the evolution of carbonaceous nanograins in NGC 7023*
Centre d'Étude Spatiale des Rayonnements, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3 et CNRS, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 9 Av. du Colonel Roche, 31028 Toulouse Cedex 04, France e-mail: email@example.com
2 Laboratoire de Chimie et Physique Quantique, IRSAMC, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3 et CNRS, 118 route de Narbonne, 31062 Toulouse Cedex, France
3 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Toulouse-Tarbes, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3 et CNRS, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 14 Av. Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
4 Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation, 65-1238 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, Hawaii 96743, USA
Accepted: 27 December 2007
Context.Extended Red Emission (ERE) was recently attributed to the photo-luminescence of either doubly ionized Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH++), or charged PAH dimers ([PAH2] +).
Aims.We analysed the visible and mid-infrared (mid-IR) dust emission in the North-West and South photo-dissociation regions of the reflection nebula NGC 7023.
Methods.Using a blind signal separation method, we extracted the map of ERE from images obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, and at the Canada France Hawaii Telescope. We compared the extracted ERE image to the distribution maps of the mid-IR emission of Very Small Grains (VSGs), neutral and ionized PAHs (PAH0 and PAH+) obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Infrared Space Observatory.
Results.ERE is dominant in transition regions where VSGs are being photo-evaporated to form free PAH molecules, and is not observed in regions dominated by PAH+. Its carrier makes a minor contribution to the mid-IR emission spectrum.
Conclusions.These results suggest that the ERE carrier is a transition species formed during the destruction of VSGs. [PAH2] + appear as good candidates but PAH++ molecules seem to be excluded.
Key words: astrochemistry / ISM: dust, extinction / ISM: lines and bands / reflection nebulae / infrared: ISM / methods: observational
This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the Data Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program 9471. Based on observations obtained at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and the University of Hawaii. Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA.
© ESO, 2008
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