UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A Young Multipolar Planetary Nebula in the Making : IRAS 21282+5050 Hsia, Chih-Hao; Zhang, Yong; Kwok, S. (Sun); Chau, Wayne

Abstract

We present high-angular-resolution Hub-ble Space Telescope (HST) optical and near-infrared imaging of the compact planetary nebula (PN) IRAS 21282+5050. Optical images of this object reveal several complex morphological structures including three pairs of bipolar lobes and an elliptical shell lying close to the plane of the sky. From near-infrared observations, we found a dust torus oriented nearly perpendicular to the major axis of elliptical shell. The results suggest that IRAS 21282+5050 is a multipolar PN, and these structures developed early during the post asymptotic-giant-branch (AGB) evolution. From a three-dimensional (3-D) model, we derived the physical dimensions of these apparent structures. When the 3-D model is viewed from different orientations, IRAS 21282+5050 shows similar apparent structures as other multipolar PNs. Analysis of the spectral energy distribution and optical spectroscopic observations of the nebula suggests the presence of a cool companion to the hot central star responsible for the ionization of the nebula. Whether the binary nature of the central star has any relations with the multipolar structure of the nebula needs to be further investigated.

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