Abundances in planetary nebulae: NGC 1535, NGC 6629, He2-108, and Tc1

Pottasch, S. T.; Surendiranath, R. and Bernard-Salas, J. (2011). Abundances in planetary nebulae: NGC 1535, NGC 6629, He2-108, and Tc1. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 531, article no. A23.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201116669


Context. Models have been made of stars of a given mass that produce planetary nebulae that usually begin on the AGB (although they may begin earlier) and run to the white dwarf stage. While these models cover the so-called dredge-up phases when nuclear reactions occur and the newly formed products are brought to the surface, it is important to compare the abundances predicted by the models with the abundances actually observed in PNe.

Aims. The aim of the paper is to determine the abundances in a group of PNe with uniform morphological and kinematic properties. The PNe we discuss are circular with rather low-temperature central stars and are rather far from the galactic plane. We discuss the effect these abundances have on determining the evolution of the central stars of these PNe.

Methods. The mid-infrared spectra of the planetary nebulae NGC1535, NGC6629, He2-108, and Tc1 (IC1266) taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope are presented. These spectra were combined with the ultraviolet IUE spectra and with the spectra in the visual wavelength region to obtain complete, extinction-corrected spectra. The chemical composition of these nebulae is then found by directly calculating and adding individual ion abundances. For two of these PNe, we attempted to reproduce the observed spectrum by making a model nebula. This proved impossible for one of the nebulae and the reason for this is discussed. The resulting abundances are more accurate than earlier studies for several reasons, the most important is that inclusion of the far infrared spectra increases the number of observed ions and makes it possible to include the nebular temperature gradient in the abundance calculations.

Results. The abundances of the above four PNe have been determined and compared to the abundances found in five other PNe with similar properties studied earlier. These abundances are further compared with values predicted by the models of Karakas (2003). From this comparison we conclude that the central stars of these PNe originally had a low mass, probably between 1 M and 2.5 M. A further comparison is made with the stellar evolution models on the HR diagram, from which we conclude that the core mass of these PNe is between 0.56 M and 0.63 M.

Conclusions. A consistent picture of the evolution of this group of PNe is found that agrees with the predictions of the models concerning the present nebular abundances, the individual masses, and luminosities of these PNe. The distance of these PNe can be determined as well.

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