Fifty Years of Symbiotic Stars
Fifty years ago, Merrill and Humason wrote a note that was published the following year in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (Merrill and Huaason, 1932), where they called attention to the existence of a group of stars -a very small group, then, with only AX Bersei, RW Hydrae and CI Gygni, and “possibly” T Coronae Borealis and R Aquarii as members- characterized by the fact that their spectra display titanium oxide absorption bands together with emissions of He II 4686, [O III] 4363 and other nebular lines. The stars in the group were later called “symbiotic stars” by Merrill, on the ocassion of a paper on BF Cygni that he presented before the American Astronomical Society in 1941 (cf. Merrill, 1958), and their spectra were described, also by Merrill, as “combination spectra”.
KeywordsPlanetary Nebula Astronomical Society Solar Chromosphere Peculiar Star Symbiotic Star
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