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Astron. Astrophys. 321, 891-897 (1997)

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ORFEUS observations of S VI, O VI and P V in the stellar wind from the nucleus
of NGC 6543

J. Zweigle 1, M. Grewing 1, 2, J. Barnstedt 2, M. Gölz 2, W. Gringel 2, C. Haas 2, W. Hopfensitz 2, N. Kappelmann 2, G. Krämer 2, I. Appenzeller 3, J. Krautter 3 and H. Mandel 3

1 Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique (IRAM), 300 Rue de la Piscine, F-38406 Saint Martin d'Hères, France
2 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik der Universität Tübingen, Waldhäuserstr. 64, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
3 Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Königstuhl, Königstuhl 12, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany

Received 22 August 1996 / Accepted 20 November 1996


During the ORFEUS-SPAS (Orbiting Retrievable Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer on the Shuttle Pallet Satellite) mission STS-51, flown in September 1993, we observed, to our knowledge for the first time, the central star of the planetary nebula NGC 6543 in the far ultraviolet (90 nm - 115 nm) wavelength region using the University of California, Berkeley spectrometer. The spectral resolution of the instrument during the flight was about 0.03 nm.

The observed stellar continuum energy distribution can be approximated by a modelled stellar atmosphere from Clegg and Middlemass with a temperature of 50 000 K and a gravity of [FORMULA], using an extinction of [FORMULA].

In addition to narrow absorption lines of atomic species (e.g. H I, C I, N I, O I) the spectrum shows narrow absorption lines of molecular hydrogen and strong P-Cygni line profiles of the S VI (93.3 nm, 94.5 nm), O VI (103.2 nm, 103.8 nm) and P V (111.8 nm, 112.8 nm) resonance doublets. The analysis of these three P-Cygni line doublets using the escape probability method yields together with the consideration of the N V (123.9 nm, 124.3 nm), Si IV (139.4 nm, 140.3 nm) and C IV (154.8 nm, 155.1 nm) P-Cygni line doublets from IUE spectra as a mean value for the lower limit of the central star's mass loss rate [FORMULA]. This value for the stellar mass loss rate of the nucleus of NGC 6543 is compatible within a factor of two with the expected mass loss rate from the approximate radiation driven wind theory for an evolved star with a mass of [FORMULA], a luminosity of [FORMULA] and an effective temperature of 50 000 K.

Key words: stars: individual – mass loss – spectroscopy – ultraviolet radiation – planetary nebulae

Send offprint requests to: J. Zweigle

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 30, 1998