Astrometry with the Hubble Space Telescope

Trigonometric parallaxes of planetary nebula nuclei NGC 6853, NGC 7293, Abell 31, and DeHt 5

G. Fritz Benedict, Barbara E. McArthur, Ralf Napiwotzki, Thomas E. Harrison, Hugh C. Harris, Edmund Nelan, Howard E. Bond, Richard J. Patterson, Robin Bruce Ciardullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present absolute parallaxes and relative proper motions for the central stars of the planetary nebulae NGC 6853 (The Dumbbell), NGC 7293 (The Helix), Abell 31, and DeHt 5. This paper details our reduction and analysis using DeHt 5 as an example. We obtain these planetary nebula nuclei (PNNi) parallaxes with astrometric data from Fine Guidance Sensors FGS 1r and FGS 3, white-light interferometers on the Hubble Space Telescope. Proper motions, spectral classifications and VJHKT2M and DDO51 photometry of the stars comprising the astrometric reference frames provide spectrophotometric estimates of reference star absolute parallaxes. Introducing these into our model as observations with error, we determine absolute parallaxes for each PNN. Weighted averaging with previous independent parallax measurements yields an average parallax precision, σπ/π = 5%. Derived distances are: d NGC 6853 = 405+28 -25 pc, d NGC 7293 = 216+14 -12 pc, d Abell 31 = 621 +91 -70 pc, and d DeHt 5 = 345+19 -17 pc. These PNNi distances are all smaller than previously derived from spectroscopic analyses of the central stars. To obtain absolute magnitudes from these distances requires estimates of interstellar extinction. We average extinction measurements culled from the literature, from reddening based on PNNi intrinsic colors derived from model SEDs, and an assumption that each PNN experiences the same rate of extinction as a function of distance as do the reference stars nearest (in angular separation) to each central star. We also apply Lutz-Kelker bias corrections. The absolute magnitudes and effective temperatures permit estimates of PNNi radii through both the Stefan-Boltzmann relation and Eddington fluxes. Comparing absolute magnitudes with post-AGB models provides mass estimates. Masses cluster around 0.57 M , close to the peak of the white dwarf mass distribution. Adding a few more PNNi with well-determined distances and masses, we compare all the PNNi with cooler white dwarfs of similar mass, and confirm, as expected, that PNNi have larger radii than white dwarfs that have reached their final cooling tracks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1969-1984
Number of pages16
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume138
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

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astrometry
planetary nebulae
Hubble Space Telescope
nuclei
extinction
reference stars
stars
parallax
proper motion
estimates
interferometer
guidance sensors
interstellar extinction
radii
sensor
cooling
coolers
mass distribution
helices
photometry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Benedict, G. Fritz ; McArthur, Barbara E. ; Napiwotzki, Ralf ; Harrison, Thomas E. ; Harris, Hugh C. ; Nelan, Edmund ; Bond, Howard E. ; Patterson, Richard J. ; Ciardullo, Robin Bruce. / Astrometry with the Hubble Space Telescope : Trigonometric parallaxes of planetary nebula nuclei NGC 6853, NGC 7293, Abell 31, and DeHt 5. In: Astronomical Journal. 2009 ; Vol. 138, No. 6. pp. 1969-1984.
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abstract = "We present absolute parallaxes and relative proper motions for the central stars of the planetary nebulae NGC 6853 (The Dumbbell), NGC 7293 (The Helix), Abell 31, and DeHt 5. This paper details our reduction and analysis using DeHt 5 as an example. We obtain these planetary nebula nuclei (PNNi) parallaxes with astrometric data from Fine Guidance Sensors FGS 1r and FGS 3, white-light interferometers on the Hubble Space Telescope. Proper motions, spectral classifications and VJHKT2M and DDO51 photometry of the stars comprising the astrometric reference frames provide spectrophotometric estimates of reference star absolute parallaxes. Introducing these into our model as observations with error, we determine absolute parallaxes for each PNN. Weighted averaging with previous independent parallax measurements yields an average parallax precision, σπ/π = 5{\%}. Derived distances are: d NGC 6853 = 405+28 -25 pc, d NGC 7293 = 216+14 -12 pc, d Abell 31 = 621 +91 -70 pc, and d DeHt 5 = 345+19 -17 pc. These PNNi distances are all smaller than previously derived from spectroscopic analyses of the central stars. To obtain absolute magnitudes from these distances requires estimates of interstellar extinction. We average extinction measurements culled from the literature, from reddening based on PNNi intrinsic colors derived from model SEDs, and an assumption that each PNN experiences the same rate of extinction as a function of distance as do the reference stars nearest (in angular separation) to each central star. We also apply Lutz-Kelker bias corrections. The absolute magnitudes and effective temperatures permit estimates of PNNi radii through both the Stefan-Boltzmann relation and Eddington fluxes. Comparing absolute magnitudes with post-AGB models provides mass estimates. Masses cluster around 0.57 M⊙ , close to the peak of the white dwarf mass distribution. Adding a few more PNNi with well-determined distances and masses, we compare all the PNNi with cooler white dwarfs of similar mass, and confirm, as expected, that PNNi have larger radii than white dwarfs that have reached their final cooling tracks.",
author = "Benedict, {G. Fritz} and McArthur, {Barbara E.} and Ralf Napiwotzki and Harrison, {Thomas E.} and Harris, {Hugh C.} and Edmund Nelan and Bond, {Howard E.} and Patterson, {Richard J.} and Ciardullo, {Robin Bruce}",
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Astrometry with the Hubble Space Telescope : Trigonometric parallaxes of planetary nebula nuclei NGC 6853, NGC 7293, Abell 31, and DeHt 5. / Benedict, G. Fritz; McArthur, Barbara E.; Napiwotzki, Ralf; Harrison, Thomas E.; Harris, Hugh C.; Nelan, Edmund; Bond, Howard E.; Patterson, Richard J.; Ciardullo, Robin Bruce.

In: Astronomical Journal, Vol. 138, No. 6, 01.12.2009, p. 1969-1984.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Astrometry with the Hubble Space Telescope

T2 - Trigonometric parallaxes of planetary nebula nuclei NGC 6853, NGC 7293, Abell 31, and DeHt 5

AU - Benedict, G. Fritz

AU - McArthur, Barbara E.

AU - Napiwotzki, Ralf

AU - Harrison, Thomas E.

AU - Harris, Hugh C.

AU - Nelan, Edmund

AU - Bond, Howard E.

AU - Patterson, Richard J.

AU - Ciardullo, Robin Bruce

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N2 - We present absolute parallaxes and relative proper motions for the central stars of the planetary nebulae NGC 6853 (The Dumbbell), NGC 7293 (The Helix), Abell 31, and DeHt 5. This paper details our reduction and analysis using DeHt 5 as an example. We obtain these planetary nebula nuclei (PNNi) parallaxes with astrometric data from Fine Guidance Sensors FGS 1r and FGS 3, white-light interferometers on the Hubble Space Telescope. Proper motions, spectral classifications and VJHKT2M and DDO51 photometry of the stars comprising the astrometric reference frames provide spectrophotometric estimates of reference star absolute parallaxes. Introducing these into our model as observations with error, we determine absolute parallaxes for each PNN. Weighted averaging with previous independent parallax measurements yields an average parallax precision, σπ/π = 5%. Derived distances are: d NGC 6853 = 405+28 -25 pc, d NGC 7293 = 216+14 -12 pc, d Abell 31 = 621 +91 -70 pc, and d DeHt 5 = 345+19 -17 pc. These PNNi distances are all smaller than previously derived from spectroscopic analyses of the central stars. To obtain absolute magnitudes from these distances requires estimates of interstellar extinction. We average extinction measurements culled from the literature, from reddening based on PNNi intrinsic colors derived from model SEDs, and an assumption that each PNN experiences the same rate of extinction as a function of distance as do the reference stars nearest (in angular separation) to each central star. We also apply Lutz-Kelker bias corrections. The absolute magnitudes and effective temperatures permit estimates of PNNi radii through both the Stefan-Boltzmann relation and Eddington fluxes. Comparing absolute magnitudes with post-AGB models provides mass estimates. Masses cluster around 0.57 M⊙ , close to the peak of the white dwarf mass distribution. Adding a few more PNNi with well-determined distances and masses, we compare all the PNNi with cooler white dwarfs of similar mass, and confirm, as expected, that PNNi have larger radii than white dwarfs that have reached their final cooling tracks.

AB - We present absolute parallaxes and relative proper motions for the central stars of the planetary nebulae NGC 6853 (The Dumbbell), NGC 7293 (The Helix), Abell 31, and DeHt 5. This paper details our reduction and analysis using DeHt 5 as an example. We obtain these planetary nebula nuclei (PNNi) parallaxes with astrometric data from Fine Guidance Sensors FGS 1r and FGS 3, white-light interferometers on the Hubble Space Telescope. Proper motions, spectral classifications and VJHKT2M and DDO51 photometry of the stars comprising the astrometric reference frames provide spectrophotometric estimates of reference star absolute parallaxes. Introducing these into our model as observations with error, we determine absolute parallaxes for each PNN. Weighted averaging with previous independent parallax measurements yields an average parallax precision, σπ/π = 5%. Derived distances are: d NGC 6853 = 405+28 -25 pc, d NGC 7293 = 216+14 -12 pc, d Abell 31 = 621 +91 -70 pc, and d DeHt 5 = 345+19 -17 pc. These PNNi distances are all smaller than previously derived from spectroscopic analyses of the central stars. To obtain absolute magnitudes from these distances requires estimates of interstellar extinction. We average extinction measurements culled from the literature, from reddening based on PNNi intrinsic colors derived from model SEDs, and an assumption that each PNN experiences the same rate of extinction as a function of distance as do the reference stars nearest (in angular separation) to each central star. We also apply Lutz-Kelker bias corrections. The absolute magnitudes and effective temperatures permit estimates of PNNi radii through both the Stefan-Boltzmann relation and Eddington fluxes. Comparing absolute magnitudes with post-AGB models provides mass estimates. Masses cluster around 0.57 M⊙ , close to the peak of the white dwarf mass distribution. Adding a few more PNNi with well-determined distances and masses, we compare all the PNNi with cooler white dwarfs of similar mass, and confirm, as expected, that PNNi have larger radii than white dwarfs that have reached their final cooling tracks.

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