Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters dedicated to ISO

The shape and strength of circumstellar PAH emission bands

F.J. Molster, M.E. van den Ancker, A.G.G.M. Tielens, L.B.F.M. Waters, D.A. Beintema, C. Waelkens, T. de Jong, Th. de Graauw, K. Justtanont, I. Yamamura, B. Vandenbussche, A. Heras


We discuss the shape and strength of the emission bands observed in Short Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) spectra of three carbon-rich evolved stars (Beintema et al. 1996a). The emission bands, due to stretching and bending modes of C-C and C-H bonds in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), show large difference in strength and shape, depending on the excitation temperature and size distribution. We find that HR 4049 shows remarkable structure in the major bands (3.3, 6.2, '7.7', 8.6 and 11.3 tex2html_wrap_inline96 m) and probably has small, ionized, hydrogen-rich and highly excited PAHs. In contrast, the Planetary Nebulae IRAS21282+5050 and NGC 7027 show a larger abundance of neutral PAHs and plateau emission near 7-8 and 11-12  tex2html_wrap_inline96 m, probably due to larger molecules. The population of PAHs in HR 4049 probably has a different evolutionary history than those in the planetary nebulae.

Stars: AGB and post-AGB - Stars: mass loss - Dust - Planetary Nebulae - Infrared: stars

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