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Astron. Astrophys. 329, 691-703 (1998)

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Inhomogeneous planetary nebulae: carbon and oxygen abundances

A.F. Kholtygin

Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg University, 198904 St. Petersburg, Russia (afk@aispbu.spb.su)

Received 2 April 1997 / Accepted 20 August 1997


We reconsider the problem of the difference between the abundances of carbon and oxygen in galactic planetary nebulae (PN) derived from the intensities of the recombination and collisionally excited lines. This discrepancy can be explained by an inhomogeneity of the PNe and an overestimation of the weak line intensities. The formulae for calculation of the nebular line intensities in presence of both temperature and density fluctuations are given. The intensities of the forbidden [OIII] lines, the CII, CIII and CIV recombination lines and the CIII] [FORMULA] 1909 UV intercombination doublet for different values of the mean electron temperature [FORMULA] in PNe and the rms temperature variation [FORMULA], are calculated. Results of these calculations are used to find the values of [FORMULA] and [FORMULA] which allow to provide the best fit of the observed and calculated line intensities (taking into account the observational errors). In most cases, the obtained values of [FORMULA] appear to be significantly smaller than ordinarily used for the abundance determinations [FORMULA] ([OIII]), while [FORMULA]. The carbon and oxygen abundances for more than 70 PNe are calculated. For these PNe average chemical abundances are evaluated separately for nebulae of type I, II and III. For the first, we found C/H= [FORMULA] cm-3 and O/H= [FORMULA] cm-3. For the second they are C/H= [FORMULA] cm-3 and O/H= [FORMULA] cm-3. For the third we obtained C/H= [FORMULA] cm-3 and O/H= [FORMULA] cm-3. Results of the fitting of the line intensities for the NIII [FORMULA] 4640 and NIV] [FORMULA] 1486 lines are also given.

Key words: planetary nebulae: general ISM: abundances

Send offprint requests to: A.F. Kholtygin (afk@aispbu.spb.su)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: December 8, 1997