Unlocking the keyhole: H2 and PAH emission from molecular clumps in the Keyhole Nebula

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Abstract
To better understand the environment surrounding CO emission clumps in the Keyhole Nebula, we have made images of the region in H2 1–0 S(1) (2.122-μm) emission and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission at 3.29 μm. Our results show that the H2 and PAH emission regions are morphologically similar, existing as several clumps, all of which correspond to CO emission clumps and dark optical features. The emission confirms the existence of photodissociation regions (PDRs) on the surface of the clumps. By comparing the velocity range of the CO emission with the optical appearance of the H2 and PAH emission, we present a model of the Keyhole Nebula whereby the most negative velocity clumps are in front of the ionization region, the clumps at intermediate velocities are in it and those which have the least negative velocities are at the far side. It may be that these clumps, which appear to have been swept up from molecular gas by the stellar winds from η Car, are now being overrun by the ionization region and forming PDRs on their surfaces. These clumps comprise the last remnants of the ambient molecular cloud around η Car.
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Author(s)
Brooks, Kate
Burton, Michael
Rathborne, Jill
Ashley, Michael
Storey, John
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Publication Year
2000
Resource Type
Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty