A search for CO+ in planetary nebulae

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Bell, T. A.
Whyatt, W.
Viti, S.
Redman, M. P.
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Abstract
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We have carried out a systematic search for the molecular ion CO+ in a sample of 8 protoplanetary and planetary nebulae in order to determine the origin of the unexpectedly strong HCO+ emission previously detected in these sources. An understanding of the HCO+ chemistry may provide direct clues to the physical and chemical evolution of planetary nebulae. We find that the integrated intensity of the CO+ line may be correlated with that of HCO+, suggesting that the reaction of CO+ with molecular hydrogen may be an important formation route for HCO+ in these planetary nebulae.
Comment: 6 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
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Astrophysics
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