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We present an absolute parallax and relative proper motion for the central star of the planetary nebula NGC 6853 (the Dumbbell). We obtain these with astrometric data from the Fine Guidance Sensor 3, a white-light interferometer on the Hubble Space Telescope. Spectral classifications and VRIJHKT2M and DDO51 photometry of the stars making up the astrometric reference frame provide spectrophotometric estimates of their absolute parallaxes. Introducing these into our model as observations with error, we find πabs = 2.10 ± 0.48 mas for the DAO central star of NGC 6853. A weighted average with a previous ground-based USNO determination yields πabs = 2.40 ± 0.32. We assume that the extinction suffered by the reference stars nearest (in angular separation and distance) to the central star is the same as for the central star. Correcting for color differences, we find AV = 0.30 ± 0.06 for the central star, hence, an absolute magnitude MV = 5.48. A recent determination of the central star effective temperature aided in estimating the central star radius, R* = 0.055 ± 0.02 R, a star that may be descending to the white dwarf cooling track.


In past articles, Paul D. Hemenway was listed as affiliated with the Department of Physics at the University of Rhode Island. In this instance he is affiliated with the Department of Oceanography.