NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2008B-0317

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Proposal Information for 2008B-0317


PI: George Jacoby, WIYN (NOAO at time of observation), jacoby@wiyn.org
Address: 950 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

CoI: Laura Fullton, Nagravision
CoI: Myung Gyoon Lee, Seoul National University
CoI: Orsola De Marco, American Museum of Natural History
CoI: Robin Ciardullo, Penn State University
CoI: John Feldmeier, Youngstown State University
CoI: Ho Seong Hwang, Korea Institute for Advanced Study

Title: A Search for Planetary Nebulae in M31 Globular Clusters

Abstract: Discrepancies with the traditional theory of formation of planetary nebulae (PNe) are mounting. It seems that few, if any, PNe form from single stars (like the Sun); instead, they form via binary-star interactions. Part of the evidence comes from the 4 PNe in Galactic globular clusters (GCs): simple stellar evolution predicts a population of ~ 16 PNe. These 4 PNe have central stars more massive than GC white dwarfs should be, and 3 of the 4 are located in binary- rich GCs. Since the Galaxy has only ~ 150 GCs, the statistics can only be improved by looking in other galaxies. We propose to improve the statistics by a factor of ~ 3 (from 2- 3\sigma to ~5\sigma) by surveying the M31 GC system with the Hydra spectrograph on WIYN \null. By searching for a PN's [O III] (lambda) 5007 emission in > 500 M31 GCs, and correlating the results with properties such as cluster X-ray brightness and turn-off mass, we can directly test several aspects of the binary origin hypothesis. The PN field is focused on this question: a collaboration of 24 astronomers in 12 countries are now studying the problem via a suite of 13 different observational tests and 3 theoretical investigations (see \tt http://www.wiyn.org/planb/.) This experiment is a key part of that effort.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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