|Characterising the Environment of Fullerene Formation
|The bulk of the dust that is injected into the interstellar medium is formed via a complex chemistry in AGB circumstellar environments, which transforms the atomic gas into molecules and dust. To date, more than 60 individual molecular species of both inorganic and organic nature and a handful of dust minerals have been identified in these outflows. These environments are also thought to be the birthplace for large aromatic species such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and fullerenes. Because of their remarkable stability, fullerenes have been predicted to survive the harsh conditions of the insterstellar medium. However, targeted searches for the presence of fullerenes in various astrophysical environments were unsuccessful or not conclusive, until now. The Spitzer mid-IR spectrum of Tc1, a young planetary nebula with a low excitation central star and a high C-O abundance ratio, shows clear traces of C60 and C70. This indicates that when conditions are favorable, fullerenes are formed in large quantities. The mid-IR spectra allow us to quantify the abundance of carbon in the fullerenes, estimate their temperature, and detect them in the solid state in circumstellar environments, but to date we have little information on the circumstellar dust or the composition of the gas. We propose to use the far-IR spectrum of Tc1 using the Herschel PACS spectrometer to study the energy balance and characterize the conditions in the circumstellar regions where fullerenes are formed.
|THROES: a caTalogue of HeRschel Observations of Evolved Stars. I. PACS range spectroscopy . Ramos-Medina J. et al. . Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 611, id.A41, 38 pp. . 611 . 10.1051/0004-6361/201731940 . 2018A&A...611A..41R ,
|Herschel was launched on 14 May 2009! It is the fourth 'cornerstone' mission in the ESA science programme. With a 3.5 m Cassegrain telescope it is the largest space telescope ever launched. It is performing photometry and spectroscopy in approximately the 55-671 µm range, bridging the gap between earlier infrared space missions and groundbased facilities.
|Publisher And Registrant
|European Space Agency
|European Space Agency, 2012, OT1_jberna01_1, SPG v14.2.0. https://doi.org/10.5270/esa-fje5hmi