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last change 2007 May 7, R. Arlt
Extragalactic planetary nebulae as diagnostic probes for the chemical evolution of galaxies

Planetary Nebulae (PN) are luminous emission line objects which are abundantly found with beautiful appearance throughout the Milky Way. In other galaxies, at distances beyond the LMC/SMC, extragalactic Planetary Nebulae (XPN) appear as point-like objects, which are relatively easy to detect with narrow-band imaging techniques. They have been found in large numbers out to the distance of galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, and also in the intracluster space of Virgo. Recently, intracluster XPN were even discovered as far away as in the Coma Cluster. Because of their bright emission lines, XPN are visible with good contrast with respect to the continuum light of the underlying population of unresolved stars in a galaxy, which is why they have become increasingly interesting as individually resolved tracers for low to intermediate mass (i.e. old) stellar populations - which otherwise can be studied only in the integrated light of very many unresolved individual stars.

The XPN Physics project attempts to verify, whether - and if yes: to which extent -, XPN are good probes for measuring chemical abundances from their parent stellar population.


Prof. Dr. Detlef Schönberner
Dr. Matthias Steffen
Dr. Martin M. Roth
Dr. Christer Sandin
Dr. Ana Monreal Ibero (previous member)
Dr. Andreas Kelz


[ESO-VLT Paranal]
[ESO La Silla]
[PMAS Calar Alto]
Other observatories are accessible through collaborators.

[XPN problems]

[XPN work plan]

Red-framed: PNs in M31; others: Hubble Heritage