Journal Article

Radio continuum properties of young planetary nebulae

L. Cerrigone, G. Umana, C. Trigilio, P. Leto, C. S. Buemi and J. L. Hora

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 390, issue 1, pages 363-370
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13748.x
Radio continuum properties of young planetary nebulae

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We have selected a small sample of post-AGB (Asymptotic Giant Branch) stars in transition towards the planetary nebula and present new Very Large Array multi-frequency high-angular resolution radio observations of them. The multi-frequency data are used to create and model the targets' radio continuum spectra, proving that these stars started their evolution as very young planetary nebulae. In the optically thin range, the slopes are compatible with the expected spectral index (−0.1). Two targets (IRAS 18062+2410 and 17423−1755) seem to be optically thick even at high frequency, as observed in a handful of other post-AGB stars in the literature, while a third one (IRAS 20462+3416) shows a possible contribution from cold dust. In IRAS 18062+2410, where we have three observations spanning a period of four years, we detect an increase in its flux density, similar to that observed in CRL 618.

High-angular resolution imaging shows bipolar structures that may be due to circumstellar tori, although a different hypothesis (i.e. jets) could also explain the observations. Further observations and monitoring of these sources will enable us to test the current evolutionary models of planetary nebulae.

Keywords: stars: AGB and post-AGB; planetary nebulae: general; radio continuum: stars

Journal Article.  4040 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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