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Bi-Abundance Ionisation Structure of the Wolf–Rayet Planetary Nebula PB 8

  • A. Danehkar (a1) (a2)
Abstract

The planetary nebula PB 8 around a [WN/WC]-hybrid central star is one of planetary nebulae with moderate abundance discrepancy factors (ADFs ~ 2–3), which could be an indication of a tiny fraction of metal-rich inclusions embedded in the nebula (bi-abundance). In this work, we have constructed photoionisation models to reproduce the optical and infrared observations of the planetary nebula PB 8 using a non-LTE stellar model atmosphere ionising source. A chemically homogeneous model initially used cannot predict the optical recombination lines. However, a bi-abundance model provides a better fit to most of the observed optical recombination lines from N and O ions. The metal-rich inclusions in the bi-abundance model occupy 5.6% of the total volume of the nebula, and are roughly 1.7 times cooler and denser than the mean values of the surrounding nebula. The N/H and O/H abundance ratios in the metal-rich inclusions are ~1.0 and 1.7 dex larger than the diffuse warm nebula, respectively. To reproduce the Spitzer spectral energy distribution of PB 8, dust grains with a dust-to-gas ratio of 0.01 (by mass) were also included. It is found that the presence of metal-rich inclusions can explain the heavy element optical recombination lines, while a dual-dust chemistry with different grain species and discrete grain sizes likely produces the infrared continuum of this planetary nebula. This study demonstrates that the bi-abundance hypothesis, which was examined in a few planetary nebulae with large abundance discrepancies (ADFs > 10), could also be applied to those typical planetary nebulae with moderate abundance discrepancies.

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Corresponding author
Email: ashkbiz.danehkar@cfa.harvard.edu
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