M 1–92 Revisited: New Findings and Open Questions: New NOEMA Observations of Minkowski’s Footprint

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PN M 1–92, also known as Minkowski’s Footprint, is a textbook example of a massive pre-planetary nebula. It presents all the characteristics of this type of source: non-spherical symmetry (bipolar cylindrical symmetry in this case), high-velocity gas emission, large amounts of linear momentum and kinetic energy (momentum excess), and a self-similar growing structure. We have revisited this object by performing new NOEMA observations (with half arc-second resolution) of a wealth of molecules, including the rare isotopologues of CO, as well as other less abundant species. These maps provide new insights into the origin of this source. Our findings include the discovery of molecular species in the ionised regions of the nebula, confirming its shocked origin; the structure of the massive equatorial component, including the presence of active wind collisions; and the strong evidence that the AGB evolution of the source was terminated prematurely, probably due to the huge mass loss event that resulted in the formation/acceleration of the present nebula.
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