A multiwavelength analysis of planetary nebulae in the large magellanic cloud

Warren A. Reid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines, compares and plots optical, near-and mid-infrared (MIR) photometric data for 605 planetary nebulae (PNe) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). With the aid of multiwavelength surveys such as the Spitzer legacy programme Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy's Evolution, the Two Micron All Sky Survey and the Magellanic Cloud Photometric Survey, plots have been constructed to expose the relative contributions frommolecular hydrogen, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, forbidden emission lines, warm dust continuum and stellar emission at various bands. Besides identifying trends, these plots have helped to reveal PN mimics including six previously known PNe in the outer LMC which are re-classified as other object types. Together with continuing follow-up optical observations, the data have enabled a substantial reduction in the number of PNe previously tagged as 'likely' and 'possible'. The total number of LMC PNe is adjusted to 715 but with a greater degree of confidence in regard to classification. In each colour-colour plot, the more highly evolved LMC PNe are highlighted for comparison with younger, brighter PNe. The faintest and most evolved PNe typically cluster in areas of colour-colour space occupied by ordinary stars. Possible reasons for the wide disparity in infrared colour-colour ratios, such as evolution and dust composition, are presented for evaluation. A correlation is found between the optical luminosity of PNe, emission-line ratios and the MIR dust luminosity at various bands. Luminosity functions using the four Infrared Array Camera and Multiband Imaging Photometer of Spitzer (MIPS) [24] bands are directly compared, revealing an increasing accumulation of PNe within the brightest two magnitudes at longer wavelengths. A correlation is also found between the MIPS [24] band and the [OIII] 5007 and Hβ fluxes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberstt2385
Pages (from-to)2642-2663
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 The Author. First published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 438(3), pp. 2642-2663. The original publication is available at http://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt2385, published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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