The properties of Crab Nebula molecules

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


see attached observing proposal


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Priestley F (2017) Modelling the ArH+ emission from the Crab nebula in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Priestley Felix (2016) The origin of the argonium emission discovered in the Crab Nebula in Supernova Remnants: An Odyssey in Space after Stellar Death

Description In November 2014 near-infrared spectra were obtained of one of the bright H2 knots in the Crab Nebula using the CSHELL instrument on the 3m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. The H2 line emission was spectrally resolved for the first time and multiple velocity components, with typical FWHM values of 25-30 km/s were detected. This crucial information will be fed into our analysis of our ALMA observations of the ArH+ molecule in the Crab Nebula, which we should receive during 2016. The analysis of the IRTF data on the H2 lines was included in the thesis of Patrick Owen, who was awarded a PhD by UCL in February 2016.
February 2017 update: The complementary Cycle 2 ALMA data on ArH+ was never obtained, despite the proposal being in the highest priority band and being carried over to Cycle 3. This was because the required combination of ALMA configuration plus weather suitable for Band 9 observations never occurred during the 2.5 years of Cycle 2 and 3 ALMA operations.
However, Band 9 observations of ArH+ were obtained in July and August 2016 with the APEX SEPIA telescope at Chajnantor, near ALMA. These data are being prepared for publication, together with the complementary IRTF H2 line data. obtained in November 2014.
Exploitation Route As well as being discussed in the Priestley et al. publication in the associated publication list, the IRTF H2 spectra of the Crab Nebula will also be discussed and interpreted along with APEX SEPIA spectra of ArH+ at the same Crab Nebula location.
Sectors Education