Searching for heavily obscured post-AGB stars and planetary nebulae
II. Near-IR observations of IRAS sources⋆
1 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía, s/n, 18008 Granada, Spain
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2 Laboratoire Lagrange, UMR 7293, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, 06300 Nice, France
3 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), c/ Serrano 117, 28006 Madrid, Spain
Received: 18 January 2012
Accepted: 19 June 2012
The most massive AGB stars are expected to result in heavily obscured post-AGB stars, proto-PNe and PNe with highly axisymmetric morphologies. To investigate this evolutionary connection, we have selected a sample of 165 presumably obscured IRAS post-AGB star and PN candidates and obtained near-IR JHK images for 164 of them. These images, in conjunction with DSS, 2MASS, Spitzer GLIMPSE, MSX, AKARI, and IRAS archival data, have allowed us to identify the near-IR counterparts of 154 of these sources, providing reliable finding charts and coordinates. Near-IR narrow-band Brγ, H2, and K continuum images were acquired for 6 of these sources that were found to be resolved in near-IR JHK images. Among the extended post-AGB source and PN candidates, three are round and seven have bipolar morphologies. Five of the extended sources are ionized and may have thus entered the PN stage. We note that all extended sources with water maser emission have bipolar morphology. We have investigated the Galactic distribution of sources with the largest flux drop from the 9 μm AKARI band to the near-IR J band and found that the width of the distribution in Galactic latitude is consistent with those of bipolar PNe and DUPLEX (DUst-Prominent Longitudinally EXtended) sources.
Key words: stars: AGB and post-AGB / stars: evolution / planetary nebulae: general
Based on observations collected at the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile (081.D-0812), observations made with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundación Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, and on observations with AKARI, a JAXA project with the participation of ESA.
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© ESO, 2012