The Becklin-Neugebauer (BN) object in Orion has a large proper motion and radial velocity with respect to the gas and other stars in the region where it is presumed to have formed. Multiple dynamical interaction scenarios have been proposed to explain this motion. In one case BN is thought to have interacted with stars in the Trapezium cluster, while in another it is thought to have interacted with source I while deeply embedded in molecular gas. If there is dense gas that has been retained in close proximity to BN, it may be evidence that the latter scenario is favored. We observed BN at high spectral resolution in three windows near 6 μm using the Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph on board the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy targeting the ν 2 vibrational band of H2O. Absorption from only three transitions of H2O is detected, and through kinematic analysis is associated with cool, dense foreground gas, not BN itself. We find no evidence for H2O absorption or emission at the systemic velocity of BN.
The Astrophysical Journal
- Pub Date:
- October 2018
- ISM: molecules;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 8 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, accepted for publication in ApJL SOFIA special issue