Planetary nebulae with Wolf-Rayet-type central stars - I. The case of the high-excitation NGC 2371

Gomez-Gonzalez, V. M. A.; Toala, J. A.; Guerrero, M. A.; Todt, H.; Sabin, L.; Ramos-Larios, G.; Mayya, Y. D.

VL / 496 - BP / 959 - EP / 973
We present the analysis of the planetary nebula (PN) NGC 2371 around the [Wolf-Rayet] (WR) star WD 0722+295. Our Isaac Newton Telescope intermediate dispersion spectrograph spectra, in conjunction with archival optical and ultraviolet images, unveil in unprecedented detail the high ionization of NGC 2371. The nebula has an apparent multipolar morphology, with two pairs of lobes protruding from a barrel-like central cavity, a pair of dense low ionization knots misaligned with the symmetry axis embedded within the central cavity, and a high-excitation halo mainly detected in Hell. The abundances from the barrel-like central cavity and dense knots agree with abundance determinations for other PNe with [WR]-type central stars of PNe. We suggest that the densest knots inside NGC 2371 are the oldest structures, remnant of a dense equatorial structure, while the main nebular shell and outer lobes resulted from a latter ejection that ended the stellar evolution. The analysis of position-velocity diagrams produced from our high-quality spectra suggests that NGC 2371 has a bipolar shape with each lobe presenting a double structure protruding from a barrel-like central region. The analysis of the spectra of WD 0722+295 results in similar stellar parameters as previously reported. We corroborate that the spectral subtype corresponds with a [WO1] type.

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