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Recent HST Surveys of Planetary Nebulae in the Magellanic Clouds

  • Richard A. Shaw (a1), Letizia Stanghellini (a2), Max Mutchler (a2), Bruce Balick (a3), Stacy Palen (a3), Eva Villaver (a4), J. Chris Blades (a4), George Jacoby (a5) and Orsola De Marco (a6)...

Extract

The study of the formation and evolution of planetary nebulae (PNs) has been a subject of active investigation for several decades. In the past 15 years the relationship between nebular morphology and nebular/stellar evolution has been investigated in some detail. Although important insights have been gained, the connection between PN formation and even basic morphological features of the evolving nebula is far from clear. One of the most vexing problems to overcome is the difficulty of obtaining, at least for Galactic PNs where statistical distances must be adopted, reliable dimensions, ages, luminosities, and other physical quantities that are essential for understanding the evolutionary state of individual nebulae. Our emphasis of late has been to obtain high-resolution images of a large sample of PNs in the Magellanic Clouds, where uncertainties in the distances are minimal and selection effects due to, e. g., dust absorption in the Galactic plane do not apply.

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References

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Shaw, R. A., Stanghellini, L., Mutchler, M., Balick, B., & Blades, J. C. 2001, ApJ, 548, 727
Stanghellini, L., Shaw, R. A., Balick, B., & Blades, J. C. 2000, ApJ, 534, L167
Stanghellini, L., Shaw, R. A., Mutchler, M., Palen, S., Balick, B., & Blades, J. C. 2002, ApJ, in preparation

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