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The Spatial Orientation of Planetary Nebulae Within the Milky Way

By SpaceRef Editor
May 8, 2005
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Astrophysics, abstract

From: Walter Weidmann A [view email]
Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 11:17:24 GMT (204kb)

The Spatial Orientation of Planetary Nebulae Within the Milky Way

Walter A. Weidmann,
Ruben J. Diaz

Comments: 26 pages and 7 figures

We investigate the spatial orientation of a homogenous sample of elongated
Planetary Nebulae (PN) in order to determine the orientation of their apparent
major axis respect to the Milky Way plane. We present some important
geometrical considerations that may have been overlooked by the previous works
on the subject. We find that there are some regions on the sky (for example the
galactic center), where some correlation could exists between the orientation
of the major axis of some PNe and the Galactic equator. The distribution of
positions angles (PA) is quantitatively different from a random orientation of
the planetaries in the Galaxy. There appear to be no clear mechanisms whereby
this non-random distribution may be explained. Considering the present
knowledge of PN and stellar evolution, we suggest that “extrinsic” phenomena
should provide an important influence in the morphology of such nebulae.

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