Spatial Variation in Temperature and Density in the IC 63 PDR from H 2 Spectroscopy

Soam, Archana, Andersson, B-G, Karoly, Janik orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5996-3600, DeWitt, Curtis and Richter, Matthew (2021) Spatial Variation in Temperature and Density in the IC 63 PDR from H 2 Spectroscopy. The Astrophysical Journal, 923 (1). p. 107. ISSN 1538-4357

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Abstract: We have measured the gas temperature in the IC 63 photodissociation region (PDR) using the S(1) and S(5) pure rotation lines of molecular hydrogen with SOFIA/EXES. We divide the PDR into three regions for analysis based on the illumination from γ Cas: sunny, ridge, and shady. Constructing rotation diagrams for the different regions, we obtain temperatures of T ex = 562−43+52 K toward the ridge and T ex = 495−25+28 K in the shady side. The H2 emission was not detected on the sunny side of the ridge, likely due to the photodissociation of H2 in this gas. Our temperature values are lower than the value of T ex = 685 ± 68 K using the S(1), S(3), and S(5) pure rotation lines, derived by Thi et al. using lower spatial resolution ISO-SWS data at a different location of the IC 63 PDR. This difference indicates that the PDR is inhomogeneous and illustrates the need for high-resolution mapping of such regions to fully understand their physics. The detection of a temperature gradient correlated with the extinction into the cloud, points to the ability of using H2 pure rotational line spectroscopy to map the gas temperature on small scales. We used a PDR model to estimate the FUV radiation and corresponding gas densities in IC 63. Our results shows the capability of SOFIA/EXES to resolve and provide detailed information on the temperature in such regions.

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