K. M. Exter

Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (63)136.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In our series of papers presenting the Herschel imaging of evolved planetary nebulae, we present images of the dust distribution in the Helix nebula (NGC 7293). Images at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 micron were obtained with the PACS and SPIRE instruments on board the Herschel satellite. The broadband maps show the dust distribution over the main Helix nebula to be clumpy and predominantly present in the barrel wall. We determined the spectral energy distribution of the main nebula in a consistent way using Herschel, IRAS, and Planck flux values. The emissivity index of 0.99 +/- 0.09, in combination with the carbon rich molecular chemistry of the nebula, indicates that the dust consists mainly of amorphous carbon. The dust excess emission from the central star disk is detected at 70 micron and the flux measurement agree with previous measurement. We present the temperature and dust column density maps. The total dust mass across the Helix nebula (without its halo) is determined to be 0.0035 solar mass at a distance of 216 pc. The temperature map shows dust temperatures between 22 and 42 K, which is similar to the kinetic temperature of the molecular gas, strengthening the fact that the dust and gas co-exist in high density clumps. Archived images are used to compare the location of the dust emission in the far infrared (Herschel) with the ionized (GALEX, Hbeta) and molecular hydrogen component. The different emission components are consistent with the Helix consisting of a thick walled barrel-like structure inclined to the line of sight. The radiation field decreases rapidly through the barrel wall.
    11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the first detections of OH+ emission in planetary nebulae (PNe). As part of an imaging and spectroscopy survey of 11 PNe in the far-IR using the PACS and SPIRE instruments aboard the Herschel Space Observatory, we performed a line survey in these PNe over the entire spectral range between 51 and 672$\mu$m to look for new detections. OH+ rotational emission lines at 152.99, 290.20, 308.48, and 329.77$\mu$m were detected in the spectra of three planetary nebulae: NGC 6445, NGC 6720, and NGC 6781. Excitation temperatures and column densities derived from these lines are in the range of 27 to 47 K and 2 x $10$^{10}$ to 4 x $10$^{11}$ cm$^{-2}$, respectively. In PNe, the OH+ rotational line emission appears to be produced in the photodissociation region (PDR) in these objects. The emission of OH+ is observed only in PNe with hot central stars (Teff > 100000 K), suggesting that high-energy photons may play a role in the OH+ formation and its line excitation in these objects, as it seems to be the case for ultraluminous galaxies.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2014; 566:A79. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This is the first of a series of investigations into far-IR characteristics of 11 planetary nebulae (PNs) under the Herschel Space Observatory Open Time 1 program, Herschel Planetary Nebula Survey (HerPlaNS). Using the HerPlaNS data set, we look into the PN energetics and variations of the physical conditions within the target nebulae. In the present work, we provide an overview of the survey, data acquisition and processing, and resulting data products. We perform (1) PACS/SPIRE broadband imaging to determine the spatial distribution of the cold dust component in the target PNs and (2) PACS/SPIRE spectral-energy-distribution (SED) and line spectroscopy to determine the spatial distribution of the gas component in the target PNs. For the case of NGC 6781, the broadband maps confirm the nearly pole-on barrel structure of the amorphous carbon-rich dust shell and the surrounding halo having temperatures of 26-40 K. The PACS/SPIRE multi-position spectra show spatial variations of far-IR lines that reflect the physical stratification of the nebula. We demonstrate that spatially-resolved far-IR line diagnostics yield the (T_e, n_e) profiles, from which distributions of ionized, atomic, and molecular gases can be determined. Direct comparison of the dust and gas column mass maps constrained by the HerPlaNS data allows to construct an empirical gas-to-dust mass ratio map, which shows a range of ratios with the median of 195+-110. The present analysis yields estimates of the total mass of the shell to be 0.86 M_sun, consisting of 0.54 M_sun of ionized gas, 0.12 M_sun of atomic gas, 0.2 M_sun of molecular gas, and 4 x 10^-3 M_sun of dust grains. These estimates also suggest that the central star of about 1.5 M_sun initial mass is terminating its PN evolution onto the white dwarf cooling track. The HerPlaNS data provide various diagnostics for both the dust and gas components in a spatially-resolved manner. In the forthcoming papers of the HerPlaNS series we will explore the HerPlaNS data set fully for the entire sample of 11 PNs.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2014; 565:A36. · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As part of the Herschel Guaranteed Time Key Project MESS (Mass loss of Evolved StarS) we have imaged a sample of planetary nebulae. In this paper we present the PACS and SPIRE images of the classical bipolar planetary nebula NGC 650. We used these images to derive a temperature map of the dust. We also constructed a photoionization and dust radiative transfer model using the spectral synthesis code Cloudy. To constrain this model, we used the PACS and SPIRE fluxes and combined these with hitherto unpublished IUE and Spitzer IRS spectra as well as various other data from the literature. The temperature map combined with the photoionization model were used to study various aspects of the central star, the nebula, and in particular the dust grains in the nebula. The central star parameters are determined to be T_eff = 208 kK and L = 261 L_sol assuming a distance of 1200 pc. The stellar temperature is much higher than previously published values. We confirm that the nebula is carbon-rich with a C/O ratio of 2.1. The nebular abundances are typical for a type IIa planetary nebula. With the photoionization model we determined that the grains in the ionized nebula are large (assuming single-sized grains, they would have a radius of 0.15 micron. Most likely these large grains were inherited from the asymptotic giant branch phase. The PACS 70/160 micron temperature map shows evidence for two radiation components heating the grains. The first component is direct emission from the central star, while the second component is diffuse emission from the ionized gas (mainly Ly alpha). We show that previous suggestions that there is a photo-dissociation region surrounding the ionized region are incorrect. The neutral material resides in dense clumps inside the ionized region. These may also harbor stochastically heated very small grains in addition to the large grains.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2013; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of observations of blazar PKS 1510-089 with the Herschel Space Observatory PACS and SPIRE instruments, together with multiwavelength data from Fermi/LAT, Swift, SMARTS and SMA. The source was found in a quiet state, and its far-infrared spectrum is consistent with a power-law with a spectral index of alpha ~ 0.7. Our Herschel observations were preceded by two 'orphan' gamma-ray flares. The near-infrared data reveal the high-energy cut-off in the main synchrotron component, which cannot be associated with the main gamma-ray component in a one-zone leptonic model. This is because in such a model the luminosity ratio of the External-Compton and synchrotron components is tightly related to the frequency ratio of these components, and in this particular case an unrealistically high energy density of the external radiation would be implied. Therefore, we consider a well-constrained two-zone blazar model to interpret the entire dataset. In this framework, the observed infrared emission is associated with the synchrotron component produced in the hot-dust region at the supra-pc scale, while the gamma-ray emission is associated with the External-Compton component produced in the broad-line region at the sub-pc scale. In addition, the optical/UV emission is associated with the accretion disk thermal emission, with the accretion disk corona likely contributing to the X-ray emission.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2012; 760(1). · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we give a progress report on the Herschel observations of planetary nebulae that are carried out as part of the MESS guaranteed time key program.
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 08/2012; 7(S283):41-44.
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    ABSTRACT: We present our analysis of the spectra of NGC 7027 taken with the PACS and SPIRE instruments of the Herschel satellite.
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 08/2012; 7(S283):352-353.
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    ABSTRACT: CAL83 is a prototype of the class of Super Soft X-ray Sources (SXS). It is a binary consisting of a low mass secondary that is transferring mass onto a white dwarf primary and is the only known SXS surrounded by an ionisation nebula, made up of the interstellar medium (ISM) ionised by the source itself. With the VIMOS IFU we obtained spectra over a 25\times25" field of view, encompassing one quarter of the nebula. Emission line maps - H I, He II, [O III], [N II], and [S II] - are produced in order to study the morphology of the ionised gas. We include CAL83 on diagrams of various diagnostic ion ratios to compare it to other X-ray ionised sources. Finally we computed some simple models of the ionised gas around CAL83 and compare the predicted to the observed spectra. CAL83 appears to have a fairly standard ionisation nebula as far as the morphology goes: the edges where H is recombining are strong in the low stage ionisation lines and the central, clumpy regions are stronger in the higher stage ionisation lines. But the He II emission is unusual in being confined to one side of CAL83 rather than being homogeneously distributed as with the other ions. We model the CAL83 nebula with cloudy using model parameters for SXSs found in the literature. The He II emission does not fit in with model predictions; in fact none of the models is able to fit the observed spectrum very well. The spectral line images of the region surrounding CAL83 are revealing and instructive. However, more modelling of the spectrum of the ionised gas is necessary, and especially for the high-ionisation level emission from CAL83. In particular, we wish to know if the He II emission and the other nebular lines are powered by the same ionising source.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2012; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we give a progress report on the Herschel imaging and spectroscopic observations of planetary nebulae that are carried out as part of the MESS guaranteed time key program. We present and discuss imaging and temperature maps of NGC 6720, NGC 650, and NGC 6853, as well as PACS and SPIRE spectroscopy of NGC 7027.
    10/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: We present Herschel PACS and SPIRE images of the dust shells around the planetary nebulae NGC 650, NGC 6853, and NGC 6720, as well as images showing the dust temperature in their shells. The latter shows a rich structure, which indicates that internal extinction in the UV is important despite the highly evolved status of the nebulae.
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 09/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we will discuss the images of Planetary Nebulae that have recently been obtained with PACS and SPIRE on board the Herschel satellite. This comprises results for NGC 650 (the little Dumbbell nebula) NGC 6853 (the Dumbbell nebula) and NGC 7293 (the Helix nebula).
    Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 5 ConferenceAsymmetric Planetary Nebulae 5 Conference; 01/2011
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    ABSTRACT: We present far-infrared and submillimetre spectra of evolved objects observed with the SPIRE Fourier-transform spectrometer on board the Herschel Space Observatory. The observations cover wavelengths 195-670 μm, a region of the electromagnetic spectrum hitherto difficult to study. The far-infrared spectra of these objects are rich and complex. We determine physical conditions from observations of the rotational lines of several molecules, and present initial large velocity gradient models for AFGL 618. We detect water in AFGL 2688 for the first time, and confirm its presence in AFGL 618 in both ortho and para forms. In addition, we detect of the J = 1-0 line of CH<SUP>+</SUP> in NGC 7027. Finally, we present new Herschel-SPIRE spectroscopic observations of both O-rich and C-rich evolved sources, and discuss preliminary investigations into their physical conditions.
    Why Galaxies Care about AGB Stars II: Shining Examples and Common InhabitantsWhy Galaxies Care about AGB Stars II: Shining Examples and Common Inhabitants; 01/2011
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    ABSTRACT: Within the context of our Herschel guaranteed time key program Mass-loss of Evolved StarS (MESS) we have obtained PACS and SPIRE spectra of several bright planetary nebulae, including NGC 7027 and NGC 6302. We have detected a range of molecular lines from the PDRs around these objects. The analysis of the spectra is still ongoing. In my talk I will present first results from our analysis, including modeling results using the photoionization / PDR code Cloudy.
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 01/2011; 280.
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    ABSTRACT: SuWt 2 is a planetary nebula (PN) consisting of a bright ionized thin ring seen nearly edge-on, with much fainter bipolar lobes extending perpendicularly to the ring. It has a bright (12th magnitude) central star, too cool to ionize the PN, which we discovered in the early 1990s to be an eclipsing binary. Although it was anticipated that there would also be an optically faint, hot, ionizing star in the system, a spectrum from the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) did not reveal a UV source. We present extensive ground-based photometry and spectroscopy of the central binary collected over the ensuing two decades, resulting in the determination that the orbital period of the eclipsing pair is 4.9 days, and that it consists of two nearly identical A1 V stars, each of mass ~2.7 M ☉. The physical parameters of the A stars, combined with evolutionary tracks, show that both are in the short-lived "blue-hook" evolutionary phase that occurs between the main sequence and the Hertzsprung gap, and that the age of the system is about 520 Myr. One puzzle is that the stars' rotational velocities are different from each other, and considerably slower than synchronous with the orbital period. It is possible that the center-of-mass velocity of the eclipsing pair is varying with time, suggesting that there is an unseen third orbiting body in the system. We propose a scenario in which the system began as a hierarchical triple, consisting of a ~2.9 M ☉ star orbiting the close pair of A stars. Upon reaching the asymptotic giant branch stage, the primary engulfed the pair into a common envelope, leading to a rapid contraction of the orbit and catastrophic ejection of the envelope into the orbital plane. In this picture, the exposed core of the initial primary is now a white dwarf of ~0.7 M ☉, orbiting the eclipsing pair, which has already cooled below the detectability possible by IUE at our derived distance of 2.3 kpc and a reddening of E(B – V) = 0.40. The SuWt 2 system may be destined to perish as a Type Ia supernova.
    The Astronomical Journal 10/2010; 140(5):1414. · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we will discuss the images of Planetary Nebulae that have recently been obtained with PACS and SPIRE on board the Herschel satellite. This comprises results for NGC 650 (the little Dumbbell nebula), NGC 6853 (the Dumbbell nebula), and NGC 7293 (the Helix nebula). Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures; proceedings of the Asymmetrical Planetary Nebulae 5 conference
    09/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: SuWt2 is a planetary nebula (PN) consisting of a bright ionized thin ring seen nearly edge-on. It has a bright (V=12) central star, too cool to ionize the PN, which we discovered to be an eclipsing binary. A spectrum from IUE did not reveal a UV source. We present extensive ground-based photometry and spectroscopy of the central binary collected over the ensuing two decades, resulting in the determination that the orbital period of the eclipsing pair is 4.9 d, and consists of two nearly identical A1 V stars, each of mass ~2.7 M_sun. The physical parameters of the A stars, combined with evolutionary tracks, show that both are in the short-lived "blue-hook" evolutionary phase that occurs between the main sequence and the Hertzsprung gap, and that the age of the system is about 520 Myr. One puzzle is that the stars' rotational velocities are different from each other, and considerably slower than synchronous with the orbital period. It is possible that the center-of-mass velocity of the eclipsing pair is varying with time, suggesting that there is an unseen third orbiting body in the system. We propose a scenario in which the system began as a hierarchical triple, consisting of a ~2.9 M_sun star orbiting the close pair of A stars. Upon reaching the AGB stage, the primary engulfed the pair into a common envelope, leading to a rapid contraction of the orbit and catastrophic ejection of the envelope into the orbital plane. In this picture, the exposed core of the initial primary is now a white dwarf of ~0.7 M_sun, orbiting the eclipsing pair, which has already cooled below the detectability possible by IUE at our derived distance of 2.3 kpc and a reddening of E(B-V)=0.40. The SuWt2 system may be destined to perish as a Type Ia supernova. (Abridged) Comment: 60 pages, 11 figure, to appear in the Astronomical Journal
    09/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: We report on the detection of anhydrous hydrochloric acid (hydrogen chlorine, HCl) in the carbon-rich star IRC+10216 using the spectroscopic facilities onboard the Herschel satellite. Lines from J=1-0 up to J=7-6 have been detected. From the observed intensities, we conclude that HCl is produced in the innermost layers of the circumstellar envelope with an abundance relative to H2 of 5x10^-8 and extends until the molecules reach its photodissociation zone. Upper limits to the column densities of AlH, MgH, CaH, CuH, KH, NaH, FeH, and other diatomic hydrides have also been obtained. Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics (Herschel special issue)
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2010; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present far-infrared and submillimetre spectra of three carbon-rich evolved objects, AFGL 2688, AFGL 618 and NGC 7027. The spectra were obtained with the SPIRE Fourier transform spectrometer on board the Herschel Space Observatory, and cover wavelengths from 195-670 um, a region of the electromagnetic spectrum hitherto difficult to study in detail. The far infrared spectra of these objects are rich and complex, and we measure over 150 lines in each object. Lines due to 18 different species are detected. We determine physical conditions from observations of the rotational lines of several molecules, and present initial large velocity gradient models for AFGL 618. We detect water in AFGL 2688 for the first time, and confirm its presence in AFGL 618 in both ortho and para forms. In addition, we report the detection of the J=1-0 line of CH+ in NGC 7027. Comment: Accepted for A&A Herschel special issue. 4 tables, 2 figures.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2010; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herschel PACS and SPIRE images have been obtained of NGC 6720 (the Ring Nebula). This is an evolved planetary nebula with a central star that is currently on the cooling track, due to which the outer parts of the nebula are recombining. From the PACS and SPIRE images we conclude that there is a striking resemblance between the dust distribution and the H2 emission, which appears to be observational evidence that H2 forms on grain surfaces. We have developed a photoionization model of the nebula with the Cloudy code which we used to determine the physical conditions of the dust and investigate possible formation scenarios for the H2. We conclude that the most plausible scenario is that the H2 resides in high density knots which were formed after the recombination of the gas started when the central star entered the cooling track. Hydrodynamical instabilities due to the unusually low temperature of the recombining gas are proposed as a mechanism for forming the knots. H2 formation in the knots is expected to be substantial after the central star underwent a strong drop in luminosity about one to two thousand years ago, and may still be ongoing at this moment, depending on the density of the knots and the properties of the grains in the knots. Comment: Herschel first results letter; 7 pages, 6 figures
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2010; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The exact nature of the interaction between hot, fast-flowing star-cluster winds and the surrounding clumpy interstellar medium (ISM) in starburst galaxies has very few observational constraints. Besides furthering our knowledge of ISM dynamics, detailed observations of ionised gas at the very roots of large-scale outflows are required to place limits on the current generation of high-resolution galactic wind models. To this end, we conduct a detailed investigation of the ionised gas environment surrounding the young star clusters in the starburst galaxy NGC1569. Using high spatial and spectral-resolution Gemini/GMOS integral-field unit observations, we accurately characterise the line-profile shapes of the optical nebular emission lines and find a ubiquitous broad (∼300km s−1) component underlying a bright narrower component. By mapping the properties of the individual line components, we find correlations that suggest that the broad component results from powerful cluster wind–gas clump interactions. We propose a model to explain the properties of the line components and the general turbulent state of the ISM. KeywordsISM: jets and outflows-ISM: kinematics and dynamics-Galaxies: ISM-Galaxies: starburst
    Astrophysics and Space Science 12/2009; 324(2):187-193. · 2.40 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

312 Citations
136.38 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2010
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2002–2008
    • Queen's University Belfast
      • Department of Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics
      Béal Feirste, N Ireland, United Kingdom
    • Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
      Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
  • 2005
    • Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
      San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
  • 2004
    • Andrews University
      Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States
  • 1998
    • University of St Andrews
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Saint Andrews, SCT, United Kingdom