The companion to the central mira star of the protoplanetary nebula OH 231.8+4.2



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Contreras, C. S. and Gil de Paz, Armando and Sahai, R. (2004) The companion to the central mira star of the protoplanetary nebula OH 231.8+4.2. Astrophysical journal, 616 (1). pp. 519-524. ISSN 0004-637X

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We present deep optical long-slit spectra of the peculiar protoplanetary nebula (PPN) OH 231.8+4.2 obtained with the 6.5 m Baade Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory (Chile). In addition to the molecular absorption bands characteristic of the M9–10 III star inside OH 231.8+4.2 (QX Pup), we identify lines of the Balmer series in absorption, which do not form in the cool atmospheres of late M-type stars. We also confirm the presence of a blue continuum excess with an intensity that is a factor ~30 larger than that expected for an M9–10 III star. Our results indicate the presence of a source hotter than QX Pup illuminating OH 231.8+4.2 that is likely a mainsequence star with spectral type A. We discuss how the formation and nebular evolution of OH 231.8+4.2 could have been affected by the presence of a binary system in its core.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society. We are very grateful to B. F. Madore for kindly providing part of his telescope time to this project. The anonymous referee is also thanked for valuable suggestions. This work was performed at California Institute of Technology. C. S. C. and A. G. d. P. are respectively financed by NSF Grant 9981546 to Owens Valley Radio Observatory and NASA Galaxy Evolution Explorer. R. S. is partially financed for this work by NASA Long Term Space Astrophysics grant 399-20- 61-00-00 and by the Space Telescope Science Institute through proposals GO-08326.01-A and GO-09101.01-A.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Sio maser emission; Planetary-nebulae; Bipolar outflow; Symbiotic miras; OH 231.8+4.2; OH 231.8+4.2; AGB; Spectra; System; Jets
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:36018
Deposited On:01 Mar 2016 15:47
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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