Journal Article

A GLIMPSE of new and possible planetary nebulae at mid-infrared wavelengths

J. P. Phillips and G. Ramos-Larios

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 386, issue 2, pages 995-1012
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13083.x
A GLIMPSE of new and possible planetary nebulae at mid-infrared wavelengths

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We have undertaken a mid-infrared (MIR) search for new planetary nebulae (PNe) using the Spitzer Space Telescope GLIMPSE Galactic plane survey. This has involved searching extant GLIMPSE data products for morphologically appropriate structures, and investigating sources having IRAS colours similar to those of Galactic PNe. We have found 12 sources which have a high probability of being high-extinction PNe, and which possess MIR and IRAS colours, and shell morphologies similar to those of previously identified Galactic nebulae. Calibrated mapping of these structures and profiles in all four of the IRAC bands (3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8.0 μm) suggests that many (if not all) of the nebulae possess at least two primary structures: an interior high surface brightness shell, corresponding to what is probably the primary ionized zone, and a much weaker halo extending to very much greater distances from the nucleus. These latter regimes are particularly evident at longer MIR wavelengths (5.8 and 8.0 μm), and it is probable that they trace the nebular photodissociative regimes, where emission derives from small-grain continua and/or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecular bands. This latter behaviour has also been noted in previous analyses of Galactic PNe.

Keywords: ISM: lines and bands; ISM: molecules; planetary nebulae: general; infrared: ISM

Journal Article.  8631 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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