Heat conduction fronts in planetary nebulae

Noam Soker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We present arguments which suggest that many of the x-ray, some optical, and some UV observations of planetary nebulae, can be explained by the presence of heat conduction fronts. The heat flows from the hot bubble formed by the shocked fast wind to the cool shell and halo. Heat conduction fronts are likely to account for emission of x rays from plasma at lower temperature than the expected temperature of the hot bubble. In the presence of magnetic fields, only a small fraction of the fast wind luminosity emerges as radiation. Heat conduction fronts can naturally produce some unusual line flux ratios, which are observed in some planetary nebulae. Heat conduction fronts may heat the halo and cause some material at the inner surface of the shell to expand slower than the rest of the shell. In the presence of an asymmetrical magnetic field, this flow, the x-ray intensity, and the emission lines, may acquire asymmetrical structure as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-279
Number of pages4
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes

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