AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 136. Planetary Nebulae
Display, Thursday, January 10, 2002, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

[Previous] | [Session 136] | [Next]

[136.05] A Population Synthesis Code for Planetary Nebulae

R. Ciardullo (Penn State), R.E. Kuzio (U Maryland), A. Simone (Penn State)

We describe a population synthesis program designed to probe the chemical and star formation history of a galaxy via its planetary nebulae. The program models galactic evolution via a series of starbursts with varying stellar metallicity, and, with the aid of an initial mass-final mass relation, predicts the distribution of central star masses for present day objects. The program then uses this information, along with post-asymptotic giant branch stellar evolutionary tracks, a generalized description of the stars' expanding nebulae and circumstellar dust, and the CLOUDY photo-ionization code, to generate the emission-line strengths for an ensemble of model PNe. These data can then be compared to the observed emission lines of a population's planetary nebulae.

We present the first results from this program. We show that helium-burning central stars are more important to the bright-end of the [O~III] \lambda 5007 planetary nebula luminosity function than hydrogen-burning stars, and demonstrate that this luminosity function is not monotonic for all stellar populations.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: rbc@astro.psu.edu

[Previous] | [Session 136] | [Next]