The Distribution of Planetary Nebula Nuclei in the Log L-Log T Plane: Inferences from Theory
The expected distribution of planetary nebula nuclei (PNNs) on the log L-log T plane is calculated based upon modern stellar evolutionary theory, the initial mass function (IMF), and various assumptions concerning mass loss during post-main sequence evolution. The distribution is found to be insensitive to the assumed range of main-sequence progenitor mass, and to reasonable variations in the age and the star forming history of the galactic disk. Rather, the distribution is determined primarily by the heavy dependence of the evolution rate upon core mass, and secondarily upon the steepness of the IMF and other factors. The distribution is rather different than any found from observations, and probably reveals strong observational selection effects.
KeywordsStar Formation Rate Core Mass Galactic Disk Planetary Nebula Initial Mass Function
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