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Astron. Astrophys. 327, 736-742

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On the mass distribution of planetary nebulae central stars*

G. Stasiska1 and S.K. Górny2, and R. Tylenda2,3

1DAEC, Observatoire de Meudon, F-92195 Meudon Principal Cedex, France (e-mail: grazyna@obspm.fr)
2Copernicus Astronomical Center, Laboratory of Astrophysics, ul. Rabianska 8, PL-87-100 Torun, Poland
(e-mail: skg@ncac.torun.pl, e-mail: tylenda@ncac.torun.pl)
3Torun Center for Astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus University, PL-87-100 Torun, Poland

Received 21 February 1997 / Accepted 26 May 1997


We apply a method, described in Górny et al. (1997), to derive the masses of 125 central stars of planetary nebulae (PN). This method is self-consistent and distance-independent. It requires the knowledge of the nebular fluxes, angular radii and expansion velocities, as well as the stellar visual magnitudes. This method is based on a simple model for the evolution of planetary nebulae, in which the central stars evolve according to the theoretical models of Blöcker (1995) and Schönberner (1983). The results are dependent on the assumed total nebular mass. Nevertheless, for any reasonable total nebular mass distribution, we find that the range in planetary nebulae central star masses is very restricted: more than 80% of the objects have a central star mass between 0.55 and 0.65. We show how to convert, in this mass range, the observed PN central star mass distribution into a zero-age post-AGB star mass distribution.

Key words: planetary nebulae: general - stars: AGB and post-AGB - stars: white dwarfs - stars: fundamental parameters

*Table 1 is available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp

Send offprint requests to: S.K. Górny

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: October 14, 1997
Last change: April 6, 1998