This paper presents detailed comparisons between numerical simulations of Fe II emission spectra and recent high-resolution and signal-to-noise spectra of the Orion Nebula. We have identified 40 [Fe II] lines in the spectrum, allowing extensive comparisons between theory and observations. The identifications are based on predictions of a realistic model of the Fe II atom, which includes the lowest 371 levels (all levels up to 11.6 eV). We investigate the dependence of the spectrum on electron density and on pumping by the stellar continuum. Orion is important because it provides a relatively simple environment in which to test complex simulations. We have identified the pumping routes that are responsible for the observed emission. Our theoretical model of Fe II emission is in good agreement with the observational data.

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Published in The Astrophysical Journal, v. 543, no. 2, p. 831-839.

© 2000. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

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