We report the serendipitous detection by the XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory of an X-ray source at the position of the Type I (He- and N-rich) bipolar planetary nebula Hb 5. The Hb 5 X-ray source appears marginally resolved. While the small number of total counts (~170) and significant off-axis angle of the X-ray source (~7.8') precludes a definitive spatial analysis, the morphology of the X-ray emission appears to trace the brightest features seen in optical images of Hb 5. The X-ray spectrum is indicative of a thermal plasma at a temperature between 2.4 and 3.7 MK and appears to display strong Neon emission. The inferred X-ray luminosity is L_X = 1.5 x 10^32 ergs/s. These results suggest that the detected X-ray emission is dominated by shock-heated gas in the bipolar nebula, although we cannot rule out the presence of a point-like component at the position of the central star. The implications for and correspondence with current models of shock-heated gas in planetary nebulae is discussed.
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Montez, Rodolfo; Kastner, Joel; and Balick, Bruce, "Serendipitous XMM-Newton detection of x-ray emission from the bipolar planetary Nebula Hb 5" (2009). The Astrophysical Journal,Accessed from
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