- Conference date: 19–22 July 2011
- Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
A number of current developments arising from spectroscopic studies of ionized nebulae are reviewed. Until the past decade or so, such studies were generally confined to the analysis of recombination lines from hydrogen and helium, along with collisionally excited forbidden lines from second and third row elements in the periodic table. However, the advent of efficient detectors on 8m-class telescopes has enabled the detection of recombination lines from second and third row elements, along with collisionally excited lines from much less abundant species. Significant discrepancies have been found between ionic abundances derived from collisionally excited lines and those obtained for the same ions from their recombination lines. The existence of ‘cold plasma’ with Te ≤ 1000 K has been confirmed for a number of planetary nebulae. Optical and infrared collisionally excited ionic lines from a wide range of ‘neutron-capture’ elements from beyond the iron abundance peak have also been detected. There is a consequent need for new calculations and experimental measurements of the atomic data needed to interpret these observations.
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