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R.C. Iping, G. Sonneborn (NASA/GSFC), A. Vidal-Madjar, R. Ferlet, G. Hebrard (CNRS/IAP), K. Sembach, A Cha (JHU), FUSE Science Team
High resolution far-UV spectra of the central star of the planetary nebula He2-138 were obtained with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) as part of the FUSE Early Release Observation program. Planetary nebulae represent a critical process by which intermediate mass stars eject appreciable amounts of processed, chemically enriched material. He2-138 is a low excitation planetary nebula (H I, [N II], [O II], and [S II] are detected in optical spectra), but has not been detected in H2 or CO emission. Nevertheless, the FUSE spectra show H2 absorption in the spectrum of He2-138. Using the central star as a background probe, we analyse the absorption spectrum of molecular hydrogen and a range of atomic species in the ISM and the planetary nebula envelope and the star's mass loss properties.
This work is supported by NASA contract NAS5-32985.
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