Abundances of planetary nebulae NGC 3242 and NGC 6369

Pottasch, S. R. and Bernard-Salas, J. (2008). Abundances of planetary nebulae NGC 3242 and NGC 6369. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 490(2) pp. 715–724.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200810721


The spectra of the planetary nebulae NGC3242 and NGC6369 are reanalysed using spectral measurements made in the mid-infrared with the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). The aim is to determine the chemical composition of these objects. We also make use of International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) and ground based spectra. These elliptical PNe are interesting because they are well-studied, nearby, bright objects and therefore allow a reasonably complete comparison of this type of nebulae. Abundances determined from the mid-infrared lines, which are insensitive to electron temperature, are used as the basis for the determination of the composition, which are found to differ somewhat from earlier results. The abundances found, especially the low value of helium and oxygen, indicate that the central star was originally of rather low mass. The abundance of phosphorus has been determined for the first time in NGC 3242. The electron temperature in both of these nebulae is roughly constant unlike NGC 6302 and NGC 2392 where a strong temperature gradient is found. The temperature of the central star is discussed for both nebulae. Finally a comparison of the element abundances in these nebulae with the solar abundance is made. The low abundance of Fe and P is noted and it is suggested that these elements are an important constituent of the nebular dust.

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