The circumstellar extinction of planetary nebulae

Robin Ciardullo, George H. Jacoby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We analyze the dependence of circumstellar extinction on core mass for the brightest planetary nebulae (PNs) in the Magellanic Clouds and M31. We show that in all three galaxies, a statistically significant correlation exists between the two quantities, such that high-core mass objects have greater extinction. We model this behavior and show that the relation is a simple consequence of the greater mass loss and faster evolution times of high-mass stars. The relation is important because it provides a natural explanation for the invariance of the [O III] λ5007 planetary nebula luminosity function (PNLF) with population age: bright Population I PNs are extinguished below the cutoff of the PNLF. It also explains the counter-intuitive observation that intrinsically luminous Population I PNs often appear fainter than PNs from older, low-mass progenitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Apr 10 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The circumstellar extinction of planetary nebulae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this