A non-negligible (~ 15–20%) fraction of planetary nebulae is expected to be formed in close binaries in which one component fills its Roche lobe after the exhaustion of hydrogen or helium at its center. The nebula is ejected as a consequence of a frictional interaction between the stellar cores and a common envelope; the ionizing component of the central binary star may be a relatively high luminosity contracting star with a degenerate CO core, burning hydrogen or helium in a shell, or it may be a lower luminosity shell hydrogen-burning star with a degenerate helium core or a core helium-burning star. Even more exotic ionizing central stars are possible. Once the initial primary has become a white dwarf or neutron star, the secondary, after exhausting central hydrogen, will also fill its Roche lobe and eject a nebular shell in a common envelope event. The secondary becomes the ionizing star in a tight orbit with its compact companion. In all, there are roughly twenty different possibilities for the make-up of binary central stars, with the ionizing component being a post asymptotic giant branch star with a hydrogen- or heliumburning shell, a CO dwarf, a core helium-burning star, a shell helium-burning star with a degenerate CO core, a shell hydrogenburning star with a degenerate helium core, or a helium degenerate dwarf, while its companion is a main sequence star, a CO degenerate dwarf, a helium star, a helium degenerate dwarf, or a neutron star. We estimate the occurrence frequency of several of these types and comment on the prior evolutionary history of 4 observed binary central stars.
Neutron Star White Dwarf Central Star Planetary Nebula Main Sequence Star
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.