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O. De Marco (AMNH), M. Moe (University of Colorado), F. Herwig (LANL), M. Politano (Marquette University)
The common envelope interaction is responsible for evolved close binaries. Some of these binaries reside in the middle of planetary nebulae (PN). Conventional wisdom has it that only about 10% of all PN contain close binary central stars. Recent observational results, however, strongly suggest that most or even all PN are in close binary systems. Interestingly, our population synthesis calculations predict that the number of post-common envelope PN is in agreement with the total number of PN in the Galaxy. On the other hand, if all stars (single and in binaries) with mass between ~1-8 M\odot eject a PN, there would be 10-20 times many more PN in the galaxy than observed. This theoretical result is in agreement with the observations in suggesting that binary interactions play a functional rather than marginal role in the creation of PN.
FH acknowledges funds from the U.S.\ Dept.\ of Energy, under contract W-7405-ENG-36 to Los Alamos National Laboratory. MP gratefully acknowledges NSF grant AST-0328484 to Marquette University.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.