Accreting white dwarfs among the planetary nebulae most luminous in [O III] λ5007 emission

Noam Soker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

I propose that some of the most luminous planetary nebulae (PNs) are actually proto-PNs, where a companion white dwarf (WD) accretes mass at a relatively high rate from the post-asymptotic giant branch star that blew the nebula. The WD sustains a continuous nuclear burning and ionizes the nebula. The WD is luminous enough to make the dense nebula luminous in the [O III] λ5007 line. In young stellar populations these WD accreting systems account for a small fraction of [O III]-luminous PNs, but in old stellar populations these binaries might account for most, or even all, of the [O III]-luminous PNs. This might explain the puzzling constant cutoff (maximum) [O III] λ5007 luminosity of the planetary nebula luminosity function across different galaxy types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-970
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume640
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Binaries: close
  • Planetary nebulae: general
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB

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