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Astron. Astrophys. 348, 945-949 (1999)

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ISOCAM spectro-imaging of the H2 rotational lines in the supernova remnant IC 443 *

D. Cesarsky 1, P. Cox 1, G. Pineau des Forêts 2, E.F. van Dishoeck 3, F. Boulanger 1 and C.M. Wright 4

1 Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Bât. 120, Université de Paris XI, F-91405 CEDEX Orsay, France
2 DAEC, Observatoire de Paris, F-92195 Meudon Principal CEDEX, France
3 Leiden Observatory, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
4 School of Physics, University College, ADFA, UNSW, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia

Received 7 May 1999 / Accepted 23 June 1999


We report spectro-imaging observations of the bright western ridge of the supernova remnant IC 443 obtained with the ISOCAM circular variable filter (CVF) on board the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) . This ridge corresponds to a location where the interaction between the blast wave of the supernova and ambient molecular gas is amongst the strongest. The CVF data show that the 5 to 14 µm spectrum is dominated by the pure rotational lines of molecular hydrogen (v = 0-0, S(2) to S(8) transitions). At all positions along the ridge, the H2 rotational lines are very strong with typical line fluxes of [FORMULA] erg s- 1 cm-2 sr-1. We compare the data to a new time-dependent shock model; the rotational line fluxes in IC 443 are reproduced within factors of 2 for evolutionary times between 1,000 and 2,000 years with a shock velocity of [FORMULA] and a pre-shock density of [FORMULA].

Key words: ISM: individual objects: IC 443 – ISM: supernova remnants – infrared: ISM: lines and bands – shock waves

* Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA.

Send offprint requests to: P. Cox (cox@ias.fr)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: August 13, 199