Planetary nebulae shaped by common envelope evolution

Adam Frank*, Zhuo Chen, Thomas Reichardt, Orsola De Marco, Eric Blackman, Jason Nordhaus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


The morphologies of planetary nebula have long been believed to be due to wind shaping processes in which a "fast wind" from the central star impacts a previously ejected envelope. It is assumed that asymmetries existing in the "slow wind" envelope would lead to inertial confinement, shaping the resulting interacting wind flow. We present new results demonstrating the effectiveness of Common Envelope Evolution (CEE) at producing aspherical envelopes which, when impinged upon by a spherical fast stellar wind, produce highly bipolar, jet-like outflows. We have run two simple cases using the output of a single PHANTOM SPH CEE simulation. Our work uses the Adaptive Mesh Refinement code AstroBEAR to track the interaction of the fast wind and CEE ejecta allows us to follow the morphological evolution of the outflow lobes at high resolution in 3-D. Our two models bracket low and high momentum output fast winds. We find the interaction leads to highly collimated bipolar outflows. In addition, the bipolar morphology depends on the fast wind momentum injection rate. With this dependence comes the initiation of significant symmetry breaking between the top and bottom bipolar lobes. Our simulations, though simplified, confirm the long-standing belief that CEE can plan a major role in PPN and PN shaping. These simulations are intended as an initial exploration of the post-CE/PPN flow patterns that can be expected from central source outflows and CE ejecta.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

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.


  • Planetary nebulae: Common Envelope
  • Planetary nebulae: individual (OH231+8+04.2)
  • Post-AGB stars
  • Pre-PN hydrodynamic models


Dive into the research topics of 'Planetary nebulae shaped by common envelope evolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this