Identification of velocity systems in the inner Orion Nebula

C. R. O'Dell*, Jacobus H. Valk, Zheng Wen, David M. Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


We have measured the properties of He I and Ca II optical absorption lines in the four Trapezium stars of M42 and Θ2 A Ori using CCD spectra of 3.3 km s-1 full width at half-maximum intensity (FWHM). A similar analysis was also done of previously published Na I spectra. Some lines are seen in all of the stars and others in as few as one. The 24 different line systems noted in specific ions are matched into 12 absorption velocity systems, three of which coincide with 21 cm H I absorption. Data from 20 different emission-line systems seen in a variety of ionization states are combined into eight emission-line velocity systems, one of which agrees with an absorption system. These data are combined to produce a line-of-sight model to M42, which has the special feature of identifying ionization fronts not only at the near side of the parent molecular cloud, but also on both sides of the neutral lid that overlies the optical nebula. Some of the absorption features are common to foreground material overlying a region of 1° diameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-683
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993


  • H II regions
  • ISM: individual (Orion Nebula)
  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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