EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 426, Number 3, November II 2004
Page(s) 779 - 786
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041103

A&A 426, 779-786 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041103

Chemical abundances of Planetary Nebulae in M 33

L. Magrini1, M. Perinotto1, A. Mampaso2 and R. L. M. Corradi3

1  Dipartimento di Astronomia e Scienza dello Spazio, Universitá di Firenze, L.go E. Fermi 2, 50125 Firenze, Italy
    e-mail: laura@arcetri.astro.it
2  Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, c. vía Láctea s/n, 38200, La Laguna, Tenerife, Canarias, Spain
3  Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Apartado de Correos 321, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canarias, Spain

(Received 16 April 2004 / Accepted 27 June 2004 )

Using spectroscopic data presented in Magrini et al. (2003), we have analyzed with the photoionization code CLOUDY 94.00 (Ferland et al. 1981) 11 Planetary Nebulae belonging to the spiral galaxy M 33. Central star temperatures and nebular parameters have been determined. In particular the chemical abundances of He/H, O/H, N/H, Ar/H, and S/H have been measured and compared with values obtained via the Ionization Correction Factors (ICF) method, when available. Chemical abundance relationships have been investigated; in particular, a correlation between N/H and N/O similar to the Galactic one (Henry 1990), and a feeble anti-correlation between O/H and N/O have been found. A gradient in O/H across the disc of M 33 is consistent with the one found from H II regions in this galaxy (Vílchez et al. 1988). Further studies in the outer parts of M 33 are however needed to ascertain this point. The present result shows that oxygen and helium abundances (with lower accuracy also nitrogen, argon and sulphur) can be actually estimated from the brightest PNe of a galaxy, even if the electron temperature cannot be measured. We also found that the oxygen abundance is quite independent of the absolute magnitude of the PN and consequently the brightest PNe are representative of the whole PN population. This represents an important tool for measuring the metallicity of galaxies at the time of the formation of PNe progenitors.

Key words: ISM: planetary nebulae: individual: M 33 -- galaxies: individual: M 33 -- galaxies: abundances -- Local Group

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