M43, the little sister of the Orion Nebula

Dr. Sergio Simón Díaz, Dr. Jorge García Rojas


We have selected the Galactic HII region M43, a close-by apparently spherical nebula ionized by a single star (HD37061, B0.5V) to investigate several topics of recent interest in the field of HII regions and massive stars. We perform a combined, comprehensive study
of the nebula and its ionizing star by using as many observational constraints as possible. For this study we collected a set of high-quality observations, including the optical spectrum of HD3706, along with nebular optical imaging and long-slit spatially resolved spectroscopy. On the one hand, we have carried out a quantitative spectroscopic analysis of the ionizing star from which we have determined the stellar parameters of HD37061 and the total number of ionizing photons emitted by the star; on the other hand, we have done a
empirical analysis of the nebular images and spectroscopy from which we have find observational evidence of scattered light from the Huygens region (the brightest part of the Orion nebula) in the M43 region. We show the importance of an adequate correction of this scattered light in both the imagery and spectroscopic observations of M43 in accurately determining the total nebular Halpha luminosity, the nebular physical
conditions. and chemical abundances. We have computed total abundances for three of the analyzed elements (O, S, and N), directly from
observable ions (no ionization correction factors are needed). The comparison of these abundances with those derived from the spectrum of the Orion nebula indicates the importance of the atomic data and, specially in the case of M42, the considered ionization correction factors.

About the talk

M43, the little sister of the Orion Nebula
Dr. Sergio Simón Díaz, Dr. Jorge García Rojas
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain
Tuesday July 19, 2011
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For more details see Simón-Díaz et al.