EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 377, Number 2, October II 2001
Page(s) L18 - L21
Section Letters
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011161
Published online 15 October 2001

A&A 377, L18-L21 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011161

Planetary nebula or symbiotic Mira? Near infrared colours mark the difference

S. Schmeja and S. Kimeswenger

Institut für Astrophysik der Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Technikerstr. 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria (http://astro.uibk.ac.at)

(Received 21 May 2001 / Accepted 17 August 2001 )

Nebulae around symbiotic Miras look very much like genuine planetary nebulae, although they are formed in a slightly different way. We present near infrared photometry of known and suspected symbiotic nebulae obtained with the Deep Near Infrared Southern Sky Survey (DENIS). We demonstrate that the near infrared colours are an excellent tool to distinguish symbiotic from genuine planetary nebulae. In particular we find that the bipolar planetary nebulae M 2-9 and Mz 3 are in fact symbiotic Miras. Further observations on prototype symbiotic Miras prove that the proposed classification scheme works generally.

Key words: planetary nebulae: general -- binaries: symbiotic -- stars: AGB and post-AGB -- stars: winds, outflows

Offprint request: S. Schmeja, stefan.j.schmeja@uibk.ac.at

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© ESO 2001

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