Volume 575, March 2015
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||10 February 2015|
A two-mode planetary nebula luminosity function
1 Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap. 70-543, 04510 D.F., México Mexico
2 Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Ap. 51, 72000 Puebla, México, Mexico
3 Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ap. 70-264, 04510 D.F., México, Mexico
4 LUTH, Observatoire de Meudon, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
Received: 26 February 2014
Accepted: 4 November 2014
Context. We propose a new planetary nebula luminosity function (PNLF) that includes two populations in the distribution. Our PNLF is a direct extension of the canonical function proposed by Jacoby et al. (1987), in order to avoid problems related with the histogram construction, it is cast in terms of cumulative functions.
Aims. We are interested in recovering the shape of the faint part of the PNLF in a consistent manner, for galaxies with and without a dip in their PNLFs.
Methods. The parameters for the two-mode PNLF are obtained with a genetic algorithm, which obtains a best fit to the PNLF varying all of the parameters simultaneously in a broad parameter space.
Results. We explore a sample of nine galaxies with various Hubble types and construct their PNLF. All of the irregular galaxies, except one, are found to be consistent with a two-mode population, while the situation is less clear for ellipticals and spirals.For the case of NGC 6822, we show that the two-mode PNLF is consistent with previous studies of the star formation history within that galaxy. Our results support two episodes of star formation, in which the second episode is significantly stronger.
Key words: planetary nebulae: general / galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
© ESO, 2015
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