The Hubble Space Telescope was used to make observations of HD 44179, the central star in the Red Rectangle Nebula, in 1992-1993. Low-resolution FOS spectra covering the 1150-3300 Angstroms region confirm earlier IUE observations that the spectrum is dominated by absorption and emission due to CO. Emission by OH is also weakly present. Numerous atomic features due to C I, Fe II, and Mg II are seen as well. Possible precursors or daughters of the hydrocarbons that give rise to the well-known infrared emission bands in this source were searched for. Absorption features due to HCN, C6N2, and possibly H2CO may be present, but are difficult to confirm due to probable contamination by other species. Line profile fitting of the A(1) Pi -X(1) Sigma (+) (0,0) transition of CO indicates a temperature in excess of 1000 K. Higher-resolution GHRS spectra of 4 bands indicate a radial velocity for CO which suggests that it comes from an extended region that does not partake of the radial velocity variations of the embedded binary star system. The breadth and relative strengths of the OH bands suggest that they result from the photodissociation of another molecule.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #188
- Pub Date:
- May 1996