Planetary nebula abundances and morphology: Probing the chemical evolution of the milky way

Letizia Stanghellini, Martín Antonio Guerrero, Katia Cunha, Arturo Manchado, E. V.A. Villaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


This paper presents a homogeneous study of abundances in a sample of 79 northern Galactic planetary nebulae (PNe) whose morphological classes have been uniformly determined. Ionic abundances and plasma diagnostics were derived from selected optical line strengths in the literature, and elemental abundances were estimated with the ionization correction factor developed by Kingsbourgh & Barlow in 1994. We compare the elemental abundances to the final yields obtained from stellar evolution models of low- and intermediate-mass stars, and we confirm that most bipolar PNe have high nitrogen and helium abundance and are the likely progeny of stars with main-sequence mass greater than 3 M . We derive 〈Ne/O〉 = 0.27 and discuss the implication of such a high ratio in connection with the solar neon abundance. We determine the Galactic gradients of oxygen and neon and found Δ log (O/H)/Δ R = -0.01 dex kpc-1 and Δ log (Ne/H )/Δ R = -0.01 dex kpc-1. These flat PN gradients are irreconcilable with Galactic metallicity gradients flattening with time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-905
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Nov 10 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxy: evolution
  • ISM: abundances
  • Planetary nebulae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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