[N II] and [O III] mean electron temperatures in planetary nebulae

F. C. Mckenna, F. P. Keenan, J. B. Kaler, A. W. Wickstead, K. L. Bell, K. M. Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mean electron temperatures for 106 planetary nebulae are presented, which have been derived using calculations of the values of electron temperature-sensitive line ratios involving forbidden transitions among the 2s2 2p2 3P, 1D, and 1S levels of N+ and O++, based on new electron impact rates and transition probabilities. Comparison of these results with values of Te [N II] and Te [O III] determined previously by Kaler reveals that the present electron temperatures are systematically lower for both ions, and that this discrepancy is correlated with the electron density in the nebula. It is also shown that the average difference between Te [N II] and Te [O III] in a planetary nebula is somewhat smaller than that derived by Kaler, with the present results implying that the N II and O III temperatures disagree on average by 2070 K as opposed to the 2210 K average found by Kaler.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-614
Number of pages5
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number725
StatePublished - Jul 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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