The large abundance discrepancy phenomenon in planetary nebulae

The discrepancy between chemical abundances computed using optical recombination lines (ORLs) and collisionally excited lines (CELs) is a major unresolved problem in nebular astrophysics, with significant implications for the determination of chemical abundances throughout the Universe. In planetary nebulae (PNe), a common explanation of this discrepancy is that two different gas phases coexist: a hot component with standard metallicity, and a much cooler plasma with a highly enhanced content of heavy elements. This dual nature is not predicted by mass loss theories, and observational support for it is still weak.

I present recent findings which show that the largest abundance discrepancies (ADs) are reached in PNe with close binary central stars. Our last long-slit spectroscopic studies as well as direct imaging of the gas in the faint O II ORLs and high spatial resolution IFU spectroscopy support the fact that probably two different gas phases coexist in these nebulae and that high ADs should be explained in a framework of binary evolution. However, the exact scenario is still not understood.

27/04/2017 - 12:30
Dr. Jorge García Rojas