H91α Radio Recombination Line and 3.5 cm Continuum Observations of the Planetary Nebula NGC 3242

Luis F. Rodríguez, Yolanda Gómez, J. Alberto López, Ma. Teresa García-Díaz, David M. Clark


We present high sensitivity H91 and 3.5 cm radio continuum observations toward the planetary nebula NGC 3242. The electron temperature determined assuming local thermodynamic equilibrium is consistent within ~10% with that derived from optical lines and the Balmer discontinuity. The line emission and the continuum emission have a very similar spatial distribution, suggesting that at this wavelength there is no other continuum process present in a signicant manner. In particular, we conclude that emission from spinning dust is not important at this wavelength. In this radio recombination line the nebula presents a radial velocity structure consistent with that obtained from observations of optical lines.


planetary nebulae: individual (NGC 3242); radiation mechanisms: thermal

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