Rebirth of x-ray emission from the born-again planetary nebula A30

M. A. Guerrero, N. Ruiz, W. R. Hamann, Y. H. Chu, H. Todt, D. Schönberner, L. Oskinova, R. A. Gruendl, M. Steffen, W. P. Blair, J. A. Toalá

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The planetary nebula A30 is believed to have undergone a very late thermal pulse resulting in the ejection of knots of hydrogen-poor material. Using multi-epoch Hubble Space Telescope images, we have detected the angular expansion of these knots and derived an age of 850+280 - 150 yr. To investigate the spectral and spatial properties of the soft X-ray emission detected by ROSAT, we have obtained Chandra and XMM-Newton deep observations of A30. The X-ray emission from A30 can be separated into two components: a point source at the central star and diffuse emission associated with the hydrogen-poor knots and the cloverleaf structure inside the nebular shell. To help us assess the role of the current stellar wind in powering this X-ray emission, we have determined the stellar parameters and wind properties of the central star of A30 using a non-LTE model fit to its optical and UV spectra. The spatial distribution and spectral properties of the diffuse X-ray emission are highly suggestive that it is generated by the post-born-again and present fast stellar winds interacting with the hydrogen-poor ejecta of the born-again event. This emission can be attributed to shock-heated plasma, as the hydrogen-poor knots are ablated by the stellar winds, under which circumstances the efficient mass loading of the present fast stellar wind raises its density and damps its velocity to produce the observed diffuse soft X-rays. Charge transfer reactions between the ions of the stellar winds and material of the born-again ejecta have also been considered as a possible mechanism for the production of diffuse X-ray emission, and upper limits on the expected X-ray production by this mechanism have been derived. The origin of the X-ray emission from the central star of A30 is puzzling: shocks in the present fast stellar wind and photospheric emission can be ruled out, while the development of a new, compact hot bubble confining the fast stellar wind seems implausible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number129
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 2012


  • X-rays: ISM
  • planetary nebulae: general
  • planetary nebulae: individual (A30)
  • stars: winds, outflows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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