Population synthesis of planetary nebulae from binaries

Maxwell Moe*, Orsola De Marco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

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There is at present no viable theory whereby a single star with M MS < 2.3 ± 0.3 M⊙ can sustain a PN-forming superwind with M > 3 × 10 -5 M yr -1 at the tip of the AGB that can eject the last ∼0.3 M of envelope mass. We propose that a binary companion can not only result in non-spherical PN, but more importantly provide the AGB mass loss rate enhancement that is required to create a visible PN. We provide an overview of our binary population synthesis calculations of the PN formation rates from common envelope (CE) interactions, CE mergers with substellar companions, tidally synchronized systems that avoid CE, gravitationally focused winds, and double degenerate systems. The predicted number of Galactic PN with radii < 0.9 pc shaped and created by a binary companion is 8,100±2,300 which is (71±20)% of the observationally-estimated total. We demonstrate that the observed close central star of PN binary fraction of 15-20% is consistent with our overall binary fraction, considering we predict two binary populations with period distributions centred at log P(days) ∼0 and 4. Finally, we discuss the impact of binarity on the PN luminosity function, central star mass distribution, chemical abundances, morphologies, etc., and why these distributions predicted in the binary scenario are close to observations while the single star paradigm produces distributions which are measurably discrepant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlanetary nebulae
Subtitle of host publicationan eye to the future
EditorsArturo Manchado, Letizia Stanghellini, Detlef Schönberner
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781107019836
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Event283rd Symposium of the International Astronomical Union - Perto de la Cruz, Spain
Duration: 25 Jul 201129 Jul 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)17439213
ISSN (Electronic)17439221


Conference283rd Symposium of the International Astronomical Union
CityPerto de la Cruz


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