Volume 637, May 2020
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Published online||15 May 2020|
Fornax 3D project: Automated detection of planetary nebulae in the centres of early-type galaxies and first results⋆
Centre for Astrophysics Research, School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB, UK
2 Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG, Northern Ireland, UK
3 Astrophysics Research centre, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 INN, UK
4 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
5 Sterrenkundig Observatorium, Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent, Belgium
6 Sterrewacht Leiden, Leiden University, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
7 Max-Planck-Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85741 Garching bei Muenchen, Germany
8 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei Muenchen, Germany
9 University of California Observatories, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
10 Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie, Koenigstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
11 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “G. Galilei”, Universitá di Padova, vicolo dell’Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
12 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
13 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Vía Láctea s/n, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
14 Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
15 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
16 Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Vienna, Austria
Accepted: 20 March 2020
Extragalactic planetary nebulae (PNe) are detectable through relatively strong nebulous [O III] emission and act as direct probes into the local stellar population. Because they have an apparently universal invariant magnitude cut-off, PNe are also considered to be a remarkable standard candle for distance estimation. Through detecting PNe within the galaxies, we aim to connect the relative abundances of PNe to the properties of their host galaxy stellar population. By removing the stellar background components from FCC 167 and FCC 219, we aim to produce PN luminosity functions (PNLF) of these galaxies, and thereby also estimate the distance modulus to these two systems. Finally, we test the reliability and robustness of our novel detection and analysis method. It detects unresolved point sources by their [O III] 5007 Å emission within regions that have previously been unexplored. We model the [O III] emissions in the spatial and spectral dimensions together, as afforded to us by the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer, and we draw on data gathered as part of the Fornax3D survey. For each source, we inspect the properties of the nebular emission lines to remove other sources that might hinder the safe construction of the PNLF, such as supernova remnants and H II regions. As a further step, we characterise any potential limitations and draw conclusions about the reliability of our modelling approach through a set of simulations. By applying this novel detection and modelling approach to integral field unit observations, we report for the distance estimates and luminosity-specific PNe frequency values for the two galaxies. Furthermore, we include an overview of source contamination, galaxy differences, and possible effects on the PNe populations in the dense stellar environments.
Key words: planetary nebulae: general / galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD / galaxies: distances and redshifts / techniques: imaging spectroscopy
Tables 4 and 5 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/637/A62
© ESO 2020
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