The faint planetary nebula PN G277.7-03.5
AAO image reference AAT 81.    « Previous || Next »

The faint planetary nebula PN G277.7-03.5. PN G277.7-03.5.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 5 arc min
Image and text © 1991-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

This planetary nebula was discovered in the rich southern constellation of Vela in 1966, by James D. Wray, which is why it does not have an NGC number. It was initially known as Wray 17-31, while PN G277.7-03.5 refers to the galactic coordinates in a recent planetary nebula catalogue, where it described as a Large circular fairly bright PN with structure. It was previously identified in these pages as Ack 277-03.1 and it is located at RA 09 31 20.5 Dec. -56 17 40 (J2000), all of which illustrates the complexity and variety of astronomical nomenclature.

This beautifully structured delicate sphere of glowing gas is about 2 arc minutes in diameter and is extremely faint. Both these characteristics have contributed to the conspicuous grain 'noise' in the photograph, and attempts to emphasise the faint nebulosity also bring out the many faint stars in this direction, including the markedly blue central star of visual magnitude 18 which is seen here sandwiched between two other, brighter stars.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1