The XA region of the Cygnus Loop is a complex zone of radiative and nonradiatve shocks interacting with interstellar clouds. We combine five far ultraviolet spectral observations from the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT), a grid of 24 IUE spectra, and a high-resolution long-slit Hα spectrum to study the spatial emission line variations across the region. These spectral data are placed in context using ground-based optical emission-line images of the region and a far-UV image obtained by the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT). The presence of high-ionization species (O VI, N V, and C IV) indicates a shock velocity near 170 km s-1 while other diagnostics indicate vsh~140 km s-1. It is likely that a large range of shock velocities may exist at a spatial scale smaller than we are able to resolve. By comparing C IV λ1550, C III λ977, and C III] λ1909, we explore resonance scattering across the region. We find that a significant column depth is present at all positions, including those not near bright optical or UV filaments. Analysis of the O VI doublet ratio suggests an average optical depth of about unity in that ion, while flux measurements of [Si VIII] λ1443 suggest a hot component in the region at just below 106 K. Given the brightness of the O VI emission and the age of the interaction, we rule out the mixing-layer interpretation of the UV emission. Furthermore, we formulate a picture of the XA region as that of an encounter of the blast wave with a finger of dense gas protruding inward from the pre-supernova cavity.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- August 2001
- ISM: Planetary Nebulae: General;
- ISM: Supernova Remnants;
- 21 pages, 9 figures, accepted by the Astronomical Journal, July 2001 Full resolution figures available at http://fuse.pha.jhu.edu/~danforth/xa/