The masses of the progenitors of planetary nebulae

Authors
Citation
Jp. Phillips, The masses of the progenitors of planetary nebulae, PUB AST S P, 113(785), 2001, pp. 839-845
Citations number
24
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Space Sciences
Journal title
PUBLICATIONS OF THE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF THE PACIFIC
ISSN journal
0004-6280 → ACNP
Volume
113
Issue
785
Year of publication
2001
Pages
839 - 845
Database
ISI
SICI code
0004-6280(200107)113:785<839:TMOTPO>2.0.ZU;2-R
Abstract
Bipolar, elliptical, and circular planetary nebulae appear to be possessed of differing Galactic scale heights, a feature which is usually assumed to arise from the differing distributions and masses of their progenitor stars . It would appear that more massive progenitors are responsible for bipolar sources, whilst the least massive progenitors give rise to circular source s. This, clearly, is an important result, since it implies that shell forma tion mechanisms must be closely intertwined with progenitor type. We point out, however, that previous estimates of nebular scale height are at best s omewhat sketchy and may even be wrong. At least two prior analyses, for ins tance, appear to compare reddened values of nebular scale height with extin ction-corrected stellar scale heights. We have therefore attempted, in the following, to undertake a dereddening of nebular scale heights and perform a fresh comparison of these results with those for Galactic stars of differ ing spectral types. We find that circular and elliptical sources are likely to originate from early F-type stars and bipolar sources from stars of spe ctral type A7 or earlier. The results appear to be insensitive to uncertain ties in the distance scale.