Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia Society
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
RESEARCH ARTICLE

K 1-6: An Asymmetric Planetary Nebula with a Binary Central Star

David J. Frew A I , Jeff Stanger B , Michael Fitzgerald A , Quentin Parker A C , Lena Danaia D , David McKinnon D , Martín A. Guerrero E F , John Hedberg G , Robert Hollow H , Yvonne An B , Shu Han Bor B , Isabel Colman B , Claire Graham-White B , Qing Wen Li B , Juliette Mai B , Katerina Papadakis B , Julia Picone-Murray B , Melanie Vo Hoang B and Vivian Yean B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia

B Sydney Girls High School, Anzac Parade, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia

C Australian Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 296, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia

D School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW 2795, Australia

E Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, c/Camino Bajo de Huétor 50, E-18008 Granada, Spain

F Present address: Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia

G Department of Education, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia

H CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia

I Corresponding author. Email: david.frew@mq.edu.au

Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia 28(1) 83-94 https://doi.org/10.1071/AS10017
Submitted: 18 May 10  Accepted: 22 September 10   Published: 21 March 2011

Abstract

We present new imaging data and archival multiwavelength observations of the little-studied emission nebula K 1-6 and its central star. Narrow-band images in Hα (+[N II]) and [O III] taken with the Faulkes Telescope North reveal a stratified, asymmetric, elliptical nebula surrounding a central star which has the colours of a late G or early K-type subgiant or giant. GALEX ultraviolet images reveal a very hot subdwarf or white dwarf coincident in position with this star. The cooler, optically dominant star is strongly variable with a period of 21.312 ± 0.008 days, and is possibly a high-amplitude member of the RS CVn class, although an FK Com classification is also possible. Archival ROSAT data provide good evidence that the cool star has an active corona. We conclude that K 1-6 is most likely an old bona fide planetary nebula at a distance of ~1.0 kpc, interacting with the interstellar medium, and containing a binary or ternary central star. The observations and data analyses reported in this paper were conducted in conjunction with Year 11 high school students as part of an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant science education project, denoted Space To Grow, conducted jointly by professional astronomers, educational researchers, teachers, and high-school students.

Keywords: stars: AGB and post-AGB — binaries: general — planetary nebulae: general — planetary nebulae: individual: K 1-6


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