Carbon monoxide in the environs of the star WR 16
Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía,
CONICET, CCT-La Plata, C.C.5.,
2 Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina
3 Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 36-D, Santiago, Chile
Accepted: 6 December 2012
Aims. We analyze the carbon monoxide emission around the star WR 16 aiming to study the physical characteristics of the molecular gas linked to the star and to achieve a better understanding of the interaction between massive stars with their surroundings.
Methods. We study the molecular gas in a region in size using CO J = 1 → 0 and 13CO J = 1 → 0 line data obtained with the 4-m NANTEN telescope. Radio continuum archival data at 4.85 GHz, obtained from the Parkes-MIT-NRAO Southern Radio Survey, are also analyzed to account for the ionized gas. Available IRAS (HIRES) 60 μm and 100 μm images are used to study the characteristics of the dust around the star.
Results. Our new CO and 13CO data allow the low/intermediate density molecular gas surrounding the WR nebula to be completely mapped. We report two molecular features at −5 km s-1 and −8.5 km s-1 (components 1 and 2, respectively) having a good morphological resemblance with the Hα emission of the ring nebula. Component 2 seems to be associated with the external ring, while component 1 is placed at the interface between component 2 and the Hα emission. We also report a third molecular feature ~10′ in size (component 3) at a velocity of −9.5 km s-1 having a good morphological correspondence with the inner optical and IR emission, although high resolution observations are recommended to confirm its existence. The stratified morphology and kinematics of the molecular gas could be associated to shock fronts and high mass-loss events related to different evolutive phases of the WR star, which have acted upon the surrounding circumstellar molecular gas. An analysis of the mass of component 1 suggests that this feature is composed of swept-up interstellar gas and is probably enriched by molecular ejecta. The direction of the proper motion of WR 16 suggests that the morphology observed at infrared, optical, radio continuum, and probably molecular emission of the inner ring nebula is induced by the stellar motion.
Key words: molecular data / stars: Wolf-Rayet / ISM: molecules
© ESO, 2013