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Nils Ryde. Photo.

Nils Ryde


Nils Ryde. Photo.

SOFIA/EXES observations of water absorption in the protostar AFGL 2591 at high spectral resolution


  • Nick Indriolo
  • D. A. Neufeld
  • C. N. DeWitt
  • M. J. Richter
  • A. C. A. Boogert
  • G. M. Harper
  • D. T. Jaffe
  • K. R. Kulas
  • M. E. McKelvey
  • Nils Ryde
  • W. Vacca

Summary, in English

We present high spectral resolution (similar to 3 km s(-1)) observations of the nu(2) ro-vibrational band of H2O in the 6.086-6.135 mu m range toward the massive protostar AFGL 2591 using the Echelon-Cross-Echelle Spectrograph (EXES) on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). Ten absorption features are detected in total, with seven caused by transitions in the nu(2) band of H2O, two by transitions in the first vibrationally excited nu(2) band of H2O, and one by a transition in the nu(2) band of (H2O)-O-18. Among the detected transitions is the nu(2) 1(1,1)-0(0,0) line that probes the lowest-lying rotational level of para-H2O. The stronger transitions appear to be optically thick, but reach maximum absorption at a depth of about 25%, suggesting that the background source is only partially covered by the absorbing gas or that the absorption arises within the 6 mu m emitting photosphere. Assuming a covering fraction of 25%, the H2O column density and rotational temperature that best fit the observed absorption lines are N(H2O) = (1.3 +/- 0.3) x 10(19) cm(-2) and T = 640 +/- 80 K.


  • Lund Observatory

Publishing year





Astrophysical Journal Letters





Document type

Journal article


IOP Publishing


  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • stars: protostars




  • ISSN: 2041-8213