Two new evolved bipolar planetary nebulae in the solar neighbourhood

David J. Frew, Quentin A. Parker, Delphine Russeil

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    30 Citations (Scopus)


    We present AAO/UKST Hα+[N II] narrow-band imagery and low- and medium-resolution optical spectroscopy of RCW24 and RCW69. These nebulae were previously classified as HII regions, but we now show them to be two of the largest and nearest bipolar Type I PNe yet discovered. Distances were estimated using extinction–distance and kinematic methods, and via a new Hα surface brightness–radius relation. The adopted distances are 1.0 ± 0.3 kpc for RCW24 and 1.3 ± 0.2 kpc for RCW69. Both objects have enhanced nitrogen abundances, with log N/O≃+0.44 for RCW24, and log N/O =+0.33 for RCW 69. Systemic velocities and |z| distances are VLSR = +5 kms⁻¹ and |z| ~23 pc for RCW 24, and VLSR = −33 km s⁻¹ and only |z| ~7 pc for RCW 69. Both PNe originated from massive progenitors (>2.0–2.5M⊙), as deduced from their chemical abundances, large ionized masses, small |z| distances, low peculiar velocities and relatively hot central stars. These two objects form an important addition to the small sample of evolved bipolar PNe in the solar neighbourhood.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1081-1092
    Number of pages12
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • stars, AGB and post-AGB
    • planetary nebulae


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