Volume 407, Number 1, August III 2003
|Page(s)||51 - 59|
|Published online||17 November 2003|
Dipartimento di Astronomia e Scienza dello Spazio, Universitá di Firenze, L.go E. Fermi 2, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Apartado de Correos 321, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canarias, Spain
3 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, c. vía Láctea s/n, 38200, La Laguna, Tenerife, Canarias, Spain
4 School of Pure and Applied Physics, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 9NN, Northern Ireland, UK
5 ST-ECF, ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
6 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
7 Physics Department, UMIST, PO Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK
Corresponding author: R. Corradi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 6 May 2003
In the framework of our narrow-band survey of the Local Group galaxies, we present the results of the search for planetary nebulae (PNe) in the dwarf irregular galaxies IC 10, Leo A and Sextans A. Using the standard on-band/off-band technique, sixteen new candidate PNe have been discovered in the closest starburst galaxy, IC 10. The optical size of this galaxy is estimated to be much larger than previously thought, considering the location of the new PNe in an area of 3.6 kpc 2.7 kpc. We also confirm the results of previous studies for the other two dwarf irregular galaxies, with the detection of one candidate PN in Leo A and another one in Sextans A. We review the number of planetary nebulae discovered in the Local Group to date and their behaviour with metallicity. We suggest a possible fall in the observed number of PNe when [Fe/H] ≪ –1.0, which might indicate that below this point the formation rate of PNe is much lower than for stellar populations of near Solar abundances. We also find non-negligible metallicity effects on the [O iii] luminosity of the brightest PN of a galaxy.
Key words: planetary nebulae: general / galaxies: individual: Leo A, Sextans A, IC 10
© ESO, 2003
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