We present mid-infrared photometry of the Orion bar obtained with the Faint Object infraRed Camera for the SOFIA Telescope (FORCAST) on board SOFIA at 6.4, 6.6, 7.7, 19.7, 31.5, and 37.1 μm. By complementing this observation with archival FORCAST and Herschel/PACS images, we are able to construct a complete infrared spectral energy distribution of the Huygens region in the Orion nebula. Comparing the infrared images with gas tracers, we find that PACS maps trace the molecular cloud, while the FORCAST data trace the photodissociation region (PDR) and the H II region. Analysis of the energetics of the region reveal that the PDR extends for 0.28 pc along the line of sight and that the bar is inclined at an angle of 4°. The infrared and submillimeter images reveal that the Orion bar represents a swept-up shell with a thickness of 0.1 pc. The mass of the shell implies a shock velocity of ≃3 km s-1 and an age of ≃105 years for the H II region. Our analysis shows that the UV and infrared dust opacities in the H II region and the PDR are a factor 5 to 10 lower than in the diffuse interstellar medium. In the ionized gas, Lyα photons are a major source of dust heating at distances larger than ≃0.06 pc from θ 1 Ori C. Dust temperatures can be explained if the size of the grains is between 0.1 and 1 μm. We derive the photoelectric heating efficiency of the atomic gas in the Orion bar. The results are in good qualitative agreement with models and the quantitative differences indicate a decreased polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon abundance in this region.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- October 2016
- HII regions;
- infrared: ISM;
- ISM: individual objects: M42;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies