High Resolution Observations of HI in the IC 63 Reflection Nebula

Bonne, Lars, Andersson, B-G, Minchin, Robert, Soam, Archana, Yaldaei, Joshua, Kulas, Kristin, Karoly, Janik orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5996-3600, Knee, Lewis B. G., Kumar, Siddharth et al (2023) High Resolution Observations of HI in the IC 63 Reflection Nebula. Astrophysical Journal, 165 (6). ISSN 0004-637X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/accf85


Photodissociation regions (PDRs), where the (far-)ultraviolet light from hot young stars interact with the gas in surrounding molecular clouds, provide laboratories for understanding the nature and role of feedback by star formation on the interstellar medium. While the general nature of PDRs is well understood - at least under simplified conditions - the detailed dynamics and chemistry of these regions, including gas clumping, evolution over time etc. can be very complex. We present interferometric observations of the 21 cm atomic hydrogen line, combined with [CII] 158 μm observations, towards the nearby reflection nebula IC 63. We find a clumpy HI structure in the PDR, and a ring morphology for the HI emission at the tip of IC 63. We further unveil kinematic substructure, of the order of 1~km~s−1, in the PDR layers and several legs that will disperse IC 63 in <0.5 Myr. We find that the dynamics in the PDR explain the observed clumpy HI distribution and lack of a well-defined HI/H2 transition front. However, it is currently not possible to conclude whether HI self-absorption (HISA) and non-equilibrium chemistry also contribute to this clumpy morphology and missing HI/H2 transition front.

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