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A study of planetary nebulae using the Faint Object Infrared Camera for the SOFIA telescope

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dc.contributor.author Davis, Jessica
dc.contributor.author Werner, Michael
dc.contributor.author Sahai, Raghvendra
dc.date.accessioned 2013-01-23T16:06:41Z
dc.date.available 2013-01-23T16:06:41Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08
dc.identifier.citation Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, Pasadena, California, August, 2012 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 12-0832
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/42643
dc.description.abstract A planetary nebula is formed following an intermediate-mass (1-8 M ѳ) star’s evolution off of the main sequence; it undergoes a phase of mass loss whereby the stellar envelope is ejected and the core is converted into a white dwarf. Planetary nebulae often display complex morphologies such as waists or torii, rings, collimated jet-like outflows, and bipolar symmetry, but exactly how these features form is unclear. To study how the distribution of dust in the interstellar medium affects their morphology, we utilize the Faint Object InfraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) to obtain well-resolved images of four planetary nebulae—NGC 7027, NGC 6543, M2-9, and the Frosty Leo Nebula—at wavelengths where they radiate most of their energy. We retrieve mid infrared images at wavelengths ranging from 6.3 to 37.1 um for each of our targets. IDL (Interactive Data Language) is used to perform basic analysis. We select M2-9 to investigate further; analyzing cross sections of the southern lobe reveals a slight limb brightening effect. Modeling the dust distribution within the lobes reveals that the thickness of the lobe walls is higher than anticipated, or rather than surrounding a vacuum surrounds a low density region of tenuous dust. Further analysis of this and other planetary nebulae is needed before drawing more specific conclusions. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012. en_US
dc.subject infrared sensors en_US
dc.subject planetary nebulae en_US
dc.subject Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) telescope en_US
dc.title A study of planetary nebulae using the Faint Object Infrared Camera for the SOFIA telescope en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US
dc.subject.NASATaxonomy Instrumentation and Photography en_US
dc.subject.NASATaxonomy Astronomy en_US


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