Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 638A, 103-103 (2020/6-1)
Searching for central stars of planetary nebulae in Gaia DR2.
CHORNAY N. and WALTON N.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Context. Accurate distance measurements are fundamental to the study of planetary nebulae (PNe) but they have long been elusive. The most accurate and model-independent distance measurements for galactic PNe come from the trigonometric parallaxes of their central stars, which were only available for a few tens of objects prior to the Gaia mission. Aims. The accurate identification of PN central stars in the Gaia source catalogues is a critical prerequisite for leveraging the unprecedented scope and precision of the trigonometric parallaxes measured by Gaia. Our aim is to build a complete sample of PN central star detections with minimal contamination. Methods. We developed and applied an automated technique based on the likelihood ratio method to match candidate central stars in Gaia Data Release 2 (DR2) to known PNe in the Hong Kong/AAO/Strasbourg Hα PN catalogue, taking into account the BP - RP colours of the Gaia sources as well as their positional offsets from the nebula centres. These parameter distributions for both true central stars and background sources were inferred directly from the data. Results. We present a catalogue of over 1000 Gaia sources that our method has automatically identified as likely PN central stars. We demonstrate how the best matches enable us to trace nebula and central star evolution and to validate existing statistical distance scales, and we discuss the prospects for further refinement of the matching based on additional data. We also compare the accuracy of our catalogue to that of previous works.