NGC 1360, the diffuse planetary nebula
AAO image reference AAT 82.    « Previous || Next »

NGC 1360, the diffuse planetary nebula NGC 1360.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 11 arc min
Image and text © 1993-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

Other planetary nebulae in this series of photographs show they can take a wide variety of shapes. Most show a distinctive and well marked symmetry, which can vary from more or less spherical, to doughnut-like annuli or to bi-polar, butterfly-like objects. Planetary nebulae also usually have well-defined boundaries, sometimes even a shell-like structure. For reasons that are not understood, NGC 1360 in Fornax defies all these conventions, yet its colour still clearly identifies it as a planetary nebula. The green hue is oxygen, excited by the hot central star, and to the north-east of the nebula is a faint red smudge, probably traces of material ejected before the star became a true planetary nebula.

For details of photographic exposure, search technical table by AAT reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1