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An Introduction to Planetary Nebulae

Jason J Nishiyama


In this book we will look at what planetary nebulae are, where they come from and where they go. We will discuss what mechanisms cause these beautiful markers of stellar demise as well as what causes them to form their variety of shapes. How we measure various aspects of planetary nebulae such as what they are made of will also be explored. Although we will give some aspects of planetary nebulae mathematical treatment, the main points should be accessible to people with only a limited background in mathematics. 

About Editors

Jason Nishiyama is a sessional lecturer with the University of Lethbridge Calgary Campus and is the director of the RASC Calgary Centre's Wilson Coulee Observatory. He received his MSc in astronomy from the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. His current research is in planetary nebulae morphology. Jason lives in Calgary, Canada.

Table of Contents



About the author

1 Introduction

1.1 Planetary Nebulae

1.2 Discovery and History

1.2.1 Initial Discovery

1.2.2 Naming

1.2.3 The Road to Understanding

1.2.4 Origins and Fate Revealed

1.2.5 Methods of Discovery

1.3 Components of Planetary Nebulae

1.3.1 Nebular Envelope

1.3.2 Central Star


2 Formation of Planetary Nebulae

2.1 Planetary Nebulae as a Stage in Stellar Evolution

2.1.1 Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

2.1.2 Stellar Evolution - Main Sequence to the AGB

2.1.3 Evolution to the Asymptotic Giant Branch

2.1.4 The Asymptotic Giant Branch

2.1.5 Mass Loss

2.2 Proto-planetary Nebulae

2.2.1 Morphology

2.3 Progenitor masses

2.3.1 Calculation of white dwarf mass

2.3.2 Calculation of progenitor mass

2.3.3 Fate Outside of the Bounds

2.4 Post Planetary Nebula

2.4.1 White Dwarf Physical Characteristics

2.4.2 White Dwarf Observational and Chemical Characteristics

2.5 Interacting Stellar Winds

2.5.1 The Model

2.5.2 Limitations of the Model


3 Observational Data of Planetary Nebulae

3.1 Chemical Abundance

3.1.1 Observed Abundance

3.1.2 Galactic Chemical Gradient

3.1.3 Galactic Chemical Enrichment

3.2 Distance Determination

3.2.1 Difficulties in Determining Distance

3.2.2 Techniques for Determining Distance


4 Planetary Nebula Morphology

4.1 Classifying Planetary Nebulae

4.1.1 Chemical Classification

4.1.2 Morphological Classification

4.2 Morphology, Classification and Planetary Nebulae Evolution

4.2.1 Morphology and Planetary Nebulae Abundance

4.2.2 Morphology and Progenitor Star Mass

4.3 Explaining Morphology

4.3.1 Round Morphology

4.3.2 Elliptical Morphology

4.3.3 Bipolar Morphology

4.3.4 Point Symmetric Morphology

4.4 Concluding Remarks





Paperback ISBN: 9780750329156

Ebook ISBN: 9781681749594

DOI: 10.1088/978-1-6817-4960-0

Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers


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