Do all PNe come from binaries?

Maxwell Moe*, Orsola De Marco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


We present a population synthesis calculation to derive the total number of planetary nebulae (PNe) in the Galaxy from single stars and binaries. By combining the most up-to-date literature results regarding galactic, and stellar formation and evolution, we determined the total number of PNe with radii <0.8 pc deriving from single stars and binaries to be 46 000±15 000. By using common envelope (CE) calculations and observational results of main sequence binaries, we predict that 5 000±1 600 post-CE PNe with radii <0.8 pc exist in the Galaxy today. We compare these predictions with the observationally-based estimate of 7200±1800 PNe in the Galaxy with radii <0.8 pc. This suggests that many single stars do not produce PNe and that 69±28% of PNe we observe derive from CE interactions on the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-464
Number of pages2
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue number234
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Galaxy: stellar content
  • Planetary nebulae
  • Stars: statistics

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