Herschel/HIFI spectral line survey of the Orion Bar. Temperature and density differentiation near the PDR surface

Nagy, Z., Choi, Y., Ossenkopf-Okada, V., van der Tak, F. F. S., Bergin, E. A., Gerin, M., Joblin, C., Röllig, M., Simon, R. & Stutzki, J., Mar-2017, In : Astronomy & astrophysics. 599

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Z. Nagy
  • Y. Choi
  • V. Ossenkopf-Okada
  • F. F. S. van der Tak
  • E. A. Bergin
  • M. Gerin
  • C. Joblin
  • M. Röllig
  • R. Simon
  • J. Stutzki
Context. Photon dominated regions (PDRs) are interfaces between the mainly ionized and mainly molecular material around young massive stars. Analysis of the physical and chemical structure of such regions traces the impact of far-ultraviolet radiation of young massive stars on their environment. Aims: We present results on the physical and chemical structure of the prototypical high UV-illumination edge-on Orion Bar PDR from an unbiased spectral line survey with a wide spectral coverage which includes lines of many important gas coolants such as [Cii], [Ci], and CO and other key molecules such as H2CO, H2O, HCN, HCO+, and SO. Methods: A spectral scan from 480-1250 GHz and 1410-1910 GHz at 1.1 MHz resolution was obtained by the HIFI instrument on board the Herschel Space Observatory. We obtained physical parameters for the observed molecules. For molecules with multiple transitions we used rotational diagrams to obtain excitation temperatures and column densities. For species with a single detected transition we used an optically thin LTE approximation. In the case of species with available collisional rates, we also performed a non-LTE analysis to obtain kinetic temperatures, H2 volume densities, and column densities. Results: About 120 lines corresponding to 29 molecules (including isotopologues) have been detected in the Herschel/HIFI line survey, including 11 transitions of CO, 7 transitions of 13CO, 6 transitions of C18O, 10 transitions of H2CO, and 6 transitions of H2O. The rotational temperatures are in the range between 22 and 146 K and the column densities are in the range between 1.8 × 1012 cm-2 and 4.5 × 1017 cm-2. For species with at least three detected transitions and available collisional excitation rates we derived a best fit kinetic temperature and H2 volume density. Most species trace kinetic temperatures in the range between 100 and 150 K and H2 volume densities in the range between 105 and 106 cm-3. The species with temperatures and/or densities outside this range include the H2CO transitions tracing a very high temperature (315 K) and density (1.4 × 106 cm-3) component and SO corresponding to the lowest temperature (56 K) measured as a part of this line survey. Conclusions: The observed lines/species reveal a range of physical conditions (gas density/temperature) involving structures at high density/high pressure, making the traditional clump/interclump picture of the Orion Bar obsolete.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomy & astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2017



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