First Results from a Panchromatic WFC3 Imaging Study of the Young, Rapidly Evolving Planetary Nebulae NGC 7027 and NGC 6302
We present the first results from comprehensive near-UV-to-near-IR Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 emission-line imaging studies of two young planetary nebulae (PNe), NGC 7027 and NGC 6302. These two objects represent key sources for purposes of understanding PN shaping processes. Both nebulae feature axisymmetric and point-symmetric (bipolar) structures and, despite hot central stars and high nebular excitation states, both harbor large masses of molecular gas and dust. The sweeping wavelength coverage of our HST/WFC3 imaging surveys targeting these two rapidly evolving PNe will provide a battery of essential tests for theories describing the structural and chemical evolution of evolved star ejecta. Among other things, we seek to distinguish between photoionization and shock-induced ionization; between ionization fronts and conduction fronts; between active and "fossil" shaping processes; and between the action of intrinsic shaping engines (e.g., accretion-disk-driven jets) and extrinsic "pre-existing conditions" (e.g., progenitor star wind inhomogeneities and equatorial density enhancements).
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- January 2020