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H-alpha Stacked Images Reveal Large Numbers of PNe in the LMC

By Warren Reid and Quentin Parker


Abstract. Our new, deep, high resolution Hα and matching R-band UKST multiexposure stack of the central 25 sq. degrees of the LMC promises to provide an unprecedented homogeneous sample of>1,000 new PNe. Our preliminary 2dF spectroscopy on the AAT has vindicated our selection process and confirmed 136 new PNe and 57 emission-line stars out of a sample of 263 candidate sources within an initial 2.5 sq. deg. area. To date approximately one third of the entire LMC has been scanned for candidates (∼7.5 sq. deg.). More than 750 new emission sources have been catalogued so far along with independent re-identification of all known and possible PNe found from other surveys. Once our image analysis is complete, we plan comprehensive spectroscopic followup of the whole sample, not only to confirm our PN candidates but also to derive nebula temperatures and densities which, with the aid of photoionization modeling, will yield stellar parameters which are vital for constructing H-R diagrams for these objects. A prime objective of the survey is to produce a Luminosity Function which will be the most accurate and comprehensive ever derived in terms of numbers, magnitude range and evolutionary state; offering significant new insights into the LMC’s evolutionary history. The observation and measurement of our newly discovered AGB halos around 60 % of these PN will also assist in determining the initial- to final-mass ratios for this phase of stellar evolution.

Year: 2004
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