EDP Sciences
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Volume 384, Number 3, March IV 2002
Page(s) 987 - 998
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020061

A&A 384, 987-998 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020061

Mass-loss rates of H-rich central stars of planetary nebulae as distance indicators?

C. M. Tinkler1 and H. J. G. L. M. Lamers1, 2

1  Astronomical Institute, University of Utrecht, Princetonplein 5, 3584CC, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2  SRON Laboratory for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584CA, Utrecht, The Netherlands

(Received 16 October 2001 / Accepted 14 January 2002)

If the mass loss rate, , or the modified wind momentum, $\Pi$, of central stars of planetary nebulae (CSPN) is strictly related to the luminosity, the study of their winds can be used to derive their distance as suggested in the literature. However, the mass loss rates and modified wind momenta of a sample of 13 CSPN published in the literature show a separation into two groups, which differ by a factor 10 to 102 in $\Pi$. This is partly, but not completely, due to differences in the adopted methods for mass loss determinations, and partly due to differences in the adopted stellar parameters, mainly the effective temperature. We have adopted a homogeneous set of stellar parameters, based on the Zanstra method, the dynamical ages of the nebulae and on evolutionary tracks, and scaled the mass loss rates accordingly. The revised data show that there is a large jump in and $\Pi$ near $\mbox{$T_{\mathrm{eff}}$ }\simeq 60~000$ K, with and $\Pi$ being larger by a factor 10 to 102 for the cooler group of CSPN of spectral type Of, than for the hotter group of type O. This discontinuity is most likely due to a bi-stability jump. The revised data do not show a clear relation between $\Pi$ and the luminosity. The consequences are discussed in terms of the post-AGB evolution theory and the radiation driven wind models.

Key words: stars: distances -- stars: early type -- stars: evolution -- stars: mass-loss -- planetary nebulae: general

Offprint request: H. J. G. L. M. Lamers, lamers@astro.uu.nl

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