Distinguishing between HII regions and planetary nebulae with Hi-GAL, WISE, MIPSGAL, and GLIMPSE⋆,⋆⋆
1 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (UMR 6110 CNRS & Université de Provence), 38 rue F. Joliot-Curie, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
3 Herschel Science Centre, European Space Astronomy Centre, ESA, Madrid, Spain
4 SPITZER Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
Received: 6 July 2011
Accepted: 13 October 2011
Context. H II regions and planetary nebulae (PNe) both emit at radio and infrared (IR) wavelengths, and angularly small H II regions can be mistaken for PNe. This problem of classification is most severe for H II regions in an early evolutionary stage, those that are extremely distant, or those that are both young and distant. Previous work has shown that H II regions and PNe can be separated based on their infrared colors.
Aims. Using data from the Herschel Hi-GAL survey, as well as WISE and the Spitzer MIPSGAL and GLIMPSE surveys, we wish to establish characteristic IR colors that can be used to distinguish between H II regions and PNe.
Methods. We perform aperture photometry measurements for a sample of 126 H II regions and 43 PNe at wavelengths from 8.0 μm to 500 μm.
Results. We find that H II regions and PNe have distinct IR colors. The most robust discriminating color criteria are [F12/F8] < 0.3, [F160/F12] > 1.3, and [F160/F24] > 0.8 (or alternately [F160/F22] > 0.8), where the brackets indicate the log of the flux ratio. All three of these criteria are individually satisfied by over 98% of our sample of H II regions and by ~10% of our sample of PNe. Combinations of these colors are more robust in separating the two populations; for example all H II regions and no PNe satisfy [F12/F8] < 0.4 and [F160/F22] > 0.8. When applied to objects of unknown classification, these criteria prove useful in separating the two populations. The dispersion in color is relatively small for H II regions; this suggests that any evolution in these colors with time for H II regions must be relatively modest. The spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of H II regions can be separated into “warm” and “cold” components. The “cold” component is well-fit by a grey-body of temperature 25 K. The SEDs of nearly two-thirds of our sample of H II regions peak at 160 μm and one third peak at 70 μm. For PNe, 67% of the SEDs peak at 70 μm, 23% peak at either 22 μm or 24 μm, and 9% (two sources) peak at 160 μm.
Key words: infrared: ISM / stars: formation / dust, extinction / planetary nebulae: general / HII regions
Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.
Tables 1 and 2 are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/537/A1
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