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- We derive abundances and central star parameters for 15 planetary nebulae (PNe) in M31: 12 in the bulge and 3 in a disk field 14 kpc from the nucleus. No single abundance value characterizes the bulge stars: although the median abundances of the sample are similar to those seen for PNe in the LMC, the distribution of abundances is several times broader, spanning over 1 decade. None of the PNe in our sample approach the super metal-rich ([Fe/H] approximately 0.25) expectations for the bulge of M31, although a few PNe in the sample of Stasinska, Richer, & Mc Call (1998) come close. This [O/H] vs [Fe/H] discrepancy is likely due to a combination of factors, including an inability of metal-rich stars to produce bright PNe, a luminosity selection effect, and an abundance gradient in the bulge of M31. We show that PNe that are near the bright limit of the [O III] lambda.5007 planetary nebula luminosity function (PNLF) span nearly a decade in oxygen abundance, and thus, support the use of the PNLF for deriving distances to galaxies (Jacoby 1996) with differing metallicities. We also identify a correlation between central star mass and PN dust formation that partially alleviates any dependence of the PNLF maximum magnitude on population age. Additionally, we identify a spatially compact group of 5 PNe having unusually high O/H; this subgroup may arise from a recent merger, but velocity information is needed to assess the true nature of the objects.
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- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19990046556.
- No Copyright.
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