Journal Article

A distance scale of planetary nebulae based on mid-infrared data

R. Ortiz, M. V. F. Copetti and S. Lorenz-Martins

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 418, issue 3, pages 2004-2013
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19619.x
A distance scale of planetary nebulae based on mid-infrared data

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Some of the most successful statistical methods for obtaining distances of planetary nebulae (PNe) are based on their apparent sizes and radio emission intensities. These methods have the advantage of being ‘extinction free’ and are especially suited to be applied to PNe situated at large distances. A similar method, based on the mid-infrared (MIR) emission of PNe, would have the advantage of being applicable to the large data bases created after the various all-sky or Galactic plane infrared surveys, such as IRAS, MSX, ISOGAL, GLIMPSE, etc. In this work we propose a statistical method to calculate the distance of PNe based on the apparent nebular radius and the MIR flux densities. We show that the specific intensity between 8 and 21 is proportional to the brightness temperature Tb at 5 GHz. Using MIR flux densities at 8, 12, 15 and 21 from the MSX survey, we calibrate the distance scale with a statistical method by Stanghellini, Shaw & Villaver (SSV). The data base used in the calibration consisted of 67 Galactic PNe with MSX counterparts and distances determined by SSV. We apply the method to a sample of PNe detected at 8 in the GLIMPSE infrared survey, and determine the distance of a sample of PNe located along the Galactic plane and bulge.

Keywords: stars: AGB and post-AGB; stars: distances; planetary nebulae: general; infrared: ISM

Journal Article.  5511 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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