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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


We present wide‐field Hα images of the Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) G156.2+5.7 which reveal the presence of considerable faint Hα line emission coincident with the remnant's X‐ray emission. We also present low‐resolution optical spectra for a few representative emission regions. The outermost Hα emission consists largely of long and thin (unresolved), smoothly curved filaments of Balmer‐dominated emission presumably associated with the remnant's forward shock front. Patches of brighter Hα emission along the western, south‐central, and north‐eastern regions appear to be radiative shocked interstellar medium filaments like those commonly seen in SNRs, with relatively strong [O i]λλ6300, 6364 and [S ii]λλ6716, 6731 line emissions. Measured [S ii]λλ6716, 6731/Hα ratios range from 0.84 to 1.57.

Comparison of the observed Hα emission with the ROSAT PSPC X‐ray image of G156.2+5.7 shows that the thin Balmer‐dominated filaments lie along the outermost edge of the remnant's detected X‐ray emission. Brighter radiative emission features are not coincident with the remnant's brightest X‐ray or radio regions. Areas of sharply weaker X‐ray flux seen in the ROSAT image of G156.2+5.7 appear spatially coincident with dense interstellar clouds visible on optical and IRAS 60‐ and 100‐μm emission images, as well as maps of increased optical extinction. This suggests significant X‐ray absorption in these regions due to foreground interstellar dust, especially along the western and southern limbs. The close projected proximity and alignment of the remnant's brighter, radiative filaments with several of these interstellar clouds and dust lanes hint at a possible physical interaction between the G156.2+5.7 remnant and these interstellar clouds and may indicate a smaller distance to the remnant than previously estimated.