ISO-LWS observations of Herbig Ae/Be stars. I. Fine structure lines

Lorenzetti, D.; Tommasi, E.; Giannini, T.; Nisini, B.; Benedettini, M.; Pezzuto, S.; Strafella, F.; Barlow, M.; Clegg, P. E.; Cohen, M.; di Giorgio, A. M.; Liseau, R.; Molinari, S.; Palla, F.; Saraceno, P.; Smith, H. A.; Spinoglio, L. and White, G. J. (1999). ISO-LWS observations of Herbig Ae/Be stars. I. Fine structure lines. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 346 pp. 604–616.



We present the results of the first spectrophotometric survey of a sample of eleven Herbig Ae/Be stars (HAEBE) obtained with the Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS) on board the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). The [OI] 63μm and the [CII] 158μm lines are observed in all the investigated sources, while the [OI] 145μm transition, due to its relative faintness, sometimes remains undetected. By comparing line intensity ratios with model predictions, photodissociation, due to the UV photons from the central star, results the dominating excitation mechanism although contributions of C-shocks to the [OI] emission cannot be ruled out. A clear example for the presence of a photodissociation region (PDR) illuminated by an HAEBE is shown by LWS spectroscopic mapping of NGC 7129. Some diagnostic probes of the radiation field and density are provided for the objects in our sample: these substantially agree with the known characteristics of both the star and its circumstellar environment, although the observed ratio [OI]63/[OI]145 tends to be smaller than predicted by PDR models. The most likely explanation for this behaviour is self-absorption at 63μm by cold atomic oxygen. Fine structure lines of the ionised species [OIII], [NII] were detected whenever the star had a spectral type of B0 or earlier; in particular, around the star CoD-42° 11721, besides a compact HII region, evidence is given for an extended low electron density ionised region. Finally, molecular line emission is associated with stars powering a CO outflow, and clumpy PDR models, better than C-shock models, predict for them relative cooling (CO vs OI and CO vs OH) similar to the observed ones.

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