The Expansion Proper Motions of the Planetary Nebula NGC 6302 from HST imaging

C. Szyszka, A. A. Zijlstra and J. R. Walsh (2011) have used Montage in their study of the expansion proper motions of planetary nebulae. Planetary nebulae expand on time scales of 103–104 yr, and for the closest nebulae, this can be detected within decades. They used HST imaging separated by nearly a decade to measure the expansion proper motion on NGC 6302.

The data were obtained with the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFC2). Montage was used as a “rebinning engine” to place all the imaging data from these two data sets onto the same pixel scale and orientation.

The WFC3 image, oriented such that North is up and East is left.

The WFC3 image, oriented such that North is up and East is left.

The primary results are as follows:

  1. The velocity field shows a characteristic linear increase of velocity with radial distance and the motion is largely radial.
  2. The lobes of NGC 6302 were ejected 2250 ± 35yr ago.
  3. The dense and massive molecular torus was ejected over 5000yr, ending about 2900yr ago.
  4. The torus and lobes originate in separate mass-loss events with different physical processes
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This entry was posted in astronomy, astronomy images, Astronomy software, Image mosaic, Image processing, Images, planetary nebulae, software and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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