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The first successful high-resolution ultraviolet spectra in the λλ 1200-2000 wavelength range of the symbiotic variable R Aquarii and its nebular Jet were obtained in 1987 July with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). The line profile structure of the C IV λλ1548, 1550 doublet in the jet indicates multicomponent velocity structure from an optically thin emitting gas. The C IV doublet profiles in the compact H II region engulfing the Mira and hot companion binary also suggest multicomponent structure, in which the radial velocities range up to ~ -100 km s^- 1. The value of the doublet intensity ratio in the R Aqr H II region is I(λ1548)/ I(λ1550) ~0.6, which is less than the optically thick limit of unity, an effect which has also been observed in other similar symbiotic stars such as RX Pup. In the case of RX Pup, however, the C IV doublet intensity ratio was I(λ1548)/I(λ1550) ~0.6 during an enhanced phase of UV and optical emission, but became larger, acquiring a value ~1, as the star declined in light over a 5 yr period. The anomalous behavior of the C IV doublet intensities, which. we refer to as the "C IV Doublet Ratio Intensity Effect," may provide an important tool for studying the spatial structure and temporal nature of winds in symbiotic stars.


This article was originally published in Astrophysical Journal, volume 331, in 1988. DOI: 10.1086/166573

Peer Reviewed



IOP Publishing



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