Modeling the physical and excitation conditions of the molecular envelope of NGC 7027
Astronomy and Astrophysics
The link between the shaping of bipolar planetary nebulae and the mass ejection activity of their central stars is still poorly understood. Appropriately characterizing the evolution of the shells ejected during the late stages of evolution is vital to gain insight into the mechanism of nebular shaping. Herschel/HIFI provides an invaluable tool by opening a new window from which to probe warm molecular gas (~50-1000 K). We present a radiative-transfer, spatio-kinematic modeling of the molecular
... ng of the molecular envelope of the young planetary nebula NGC 7027 in high- and low-J 12CO and 13CO transitions observed by Herschel/HIFI and IRAM 30-m, and discuss the structure and dynamics of the molecular envelope. We have developed a code which, used along with the existing SHAPE software, implements spatio-kinematic modeling with accurate non-LTE calculations of line excitation and radiative transfer in molecular species. We have used this code to build a relatively simple "russian doll" model of the molecular envelope of NGC 7027. The model nebula consists of four nested, mildly bipolar shells plus a pair of high-velocity blobs. The innermost shell is the thinnest and shows a significant jump in physical conditions (temperature, density, abundance and velocity) with respect to the adjacent shell. This is a clear indication of a shock front in the system. Each of the high-velocity blobs is divided into two sections with different physical conditions. The presence of H2O in NGC 7027, a C-rich nebula, is likely due to photo-induced chemistry from the hot central star. The computed molecular mass of the nebula is 1.3 Msun, compatible with estimates from previous works.