The distance to NGC 6302
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New 6 cm continuum and radio recombination line VLA observations as well as CO observations are presented of the bright PN NGC 6302. The H110-alpha line is significantly broader than the H76-alpha line, an effect which is attributed to electron pressure broadening. An electron density of 25,000/cu cm is derived, a value in good agreement with previous optical estimates. Adopting this value and a geometric model for the nebula, a distance of 2.2 + or - 1.1 kpc is derived. An attempt is made to measure the angular expansion in the nebula using 6 cm continuum observations and the technique of Masson (1986). The failure to measure any expansion implies a lower limit of 0.7 + or - 0.3 kpc for the distance. An IRAS luminosity of 13,000 solar, an ionized nebular mass of about 0.2 solar, a neutral hydrogen mass of about 0.05 solar, and a molecular hydrogen mass of about 0.5 solar are derived. The luminosity and total mass are among the largest known for PNs.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemAstrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 345, Oct. 15, 1989, p. 862-870.