Planetaries: Magellan Observatory, NSW 4/4/08-4/12/08

Steve Gottlieb

Following up my observing report on (mostly) spiral galaxies from Australia, here are some of the interesting planetaries that I observed. The ones listed below were all relatively easy objects in the 24" (picked up immediately unfiltered at 200x or 260x) and all should be visible in much smaller apertures. Steve

He 2-7 = PN G264.1-08.1
08 11 31.8 -48 43 17
V = 11.8; Size 49"x42"

24" (4/10/08): this planetary was picked up easily at 200x as a very bright, but very compact blue-grey disc of roughly 10" diameter. Easily holds 350x and I noticed an occasional glimmer of a central star. Forms a "double" with a mag 13 star just 22" NE of center. Located in a very rich star field 33' NNE of the naked-eye open cluster N2516. A long 15' stream of stars NW to SE passes through the planetary ending at a mag 9.4 star 4' SE. The catalogue dimensions (49"x42") are misleading, as visually this is a compact planetary.

IC 2448 = PN G285.7-14.9
09 07 06.3 -69 56 31
V = 10.5; Size 11"x9"

24" (4/4/08): this extremely bright, 10.5-magnitude compact planetary is located 34' SW of mag 1.7 Beta Carinae (Miaplacidus). At 350x it appeared ~10" diameter with a very high surface brightness disc and a faint, thin outer envelope increasing the diameter a couple of arc seconds.

NGC 2792 = PN G265.7+04.1 09 12 26.6 -42 25 41
V = 11.8; Size 18"

24" (4/4/08): at 350x this high surface brightness planetary appeared very bright, small, round, 15"-20" in diameter. It appeared annular with a brighter rim, although the the inner edge of the annulus was not well defined. A wide pair of mag 11 stars lies 4' SE.

PB 4 = PN G275.0-04.1
09 15 07.8 -54 52 44
V = 12.8; Size 14"x9"

24" (4/11/08): this small planetary was immediately picked up unfiltered at 200x as a fairly bright, compact disc, slightly elongated, ~12"x10", with a blue-grey color. Excellent view at 350x with a crisply defined edge and a high surface brightness disc. Located in a rich star field 6.5' NW of a trio of mag 8.7, 9.7 and 10.8 stars in a near equilateral triangle (sides ~25") and at the midpoint of this triple and a mag 10 star a similar distance to the NW of the planetary.

NGC 2867
09 21 25.4 -58 18 41
V = 9.7; Size 18"x16"

24" (4/10/08): beautiful, very high surface brightness blue planetary at 200x, set in a rich star field. Stunning view at 520x. The thick, oval rim is clearly brighter with a relatively small darker hole in the center! I didn't notice this structure in the 18" several years back from Australia.

NGC 2899
09 27 03.0 -56 06 22
V = 12.2; Size 120"x68"

24" (4/10/08): fascinating bipolar planetary at 260x using a UHC filter. A very bright knot is situated on the SW end with fainter extensions along the rim to the SE. A matching knot with a lower surface brightness is on the north side. This knot is also elongated making another short arc. The planetary is noticeably elongated with dimensions of ~1.6'x1.0', oriented NW-SE. At 520x both knots or arcs gradually increase in brightness to their centers and occasionally show very faint stellar nuclei. The overall surface is noticeably mottled at this power, though darker in the center. The open cluster, IC 2488, lies 50' S and a faint planetary, Wray 17-31 = VBRC 2, lies 38' ESE.

He 2-37 = PN G274.6+03.5
09 47 24.8 -48 58 16
V = 14.0; Size 24"x22"

24" (4/10/08): this was a real surprise as it wasn't on my "hit" list of obscure southern planetaries. At 200x unfiltered, it was immediately visible as a moderately bright, round disc, 20"-25" in diameter with a very crisply-defined edge. Good contrast gain using a UHC filter. Excellent view at 350x. This rim is slightly brighter along the NE quadrant and the interior is slightly darker, giving a modest annular appearance. Set in a rich star field 2' NE of a mag 10 star.

NGC 3195
10 09 21.1 -80 51 31
V = 11.5; Size 43"x36"

24" (4/4/08): at 350x, appeared fairly bright, moderately large, slightly elongated SSW-NNE, ~40"x35". The planetary is clearly annular at this magnification with the rim brightest along the east and west sides, giving a bipolar appearance. The southern end of the rim dims, making the rim appear U-shaped, open to the south (though weaker on the north end). The central hole is irregularly shaped with careful viewing. Two mag 12 stars to the west at 45" and 1.6' are collinear with the planetary and a brighter mag 11.5 lies 2' SE. The surrounding field is lacking in bright stars but rich in faint stars. Located in southern Cha between Zeta and Delta Chamaeleontis with N3149 30' NNW.

Hf 38 = PN G288.4+00.3
10 54 35.6 -59 09 47
V = 13.7; Size 29"x22"

24" (4/5/08): picked up unfiltered at 200x as a fairly bright, large slightly elongated disc, ~30"x25" in diameter. Upping the magnification to 350x and adding a UHC filter the planetary appears annular with a brighter rim extending for 270-300 from NW counterclockwise to SW (backwards and elongated "C" shape). The W side of the rim is weaker and the center is also darker. Situated in a rich Carina star field just 20' SE of a mag 3.8 star and 1.3 NE of Eta Carinae. An open cluster, Tr 17, lies 13' ESE.

NGC 3699
11 27 58.4 -59 57 37
V = 11.0; Size 71"

24" (4/5/08): this showpiece planetary appeared very bright, fairly large, ~70" in diameter and gave an excellent contrast response to the UHC filter at 200x. The planetary is bisected by a prominent, broad dark rift that slashes through the planetary from WSW to ENE (like Centaurus A!). The northern lobe is the more prominent: both larger and brighter. The shape of this lobe is semicircular with a round, outer periphery but with a fairly straight edge SW-NE in the interior due to the dark rift. The center of the dust lane is south of the geometric center of the planetary, giving an asymmetric distribution to the lobes. The rift itself is widest at the ENE end and tapers down towards the WSW end. Superb view at 350x as the extra magnification increases the contrast and confirms that the south lobe is fully detached by the dust land at the WSW end. The compact planetary He 2-67 lies in the same field 11' SE.

He 2-70 = PN G293.6+01.2
11 35 11.0 -60 17 00
V = 13.8; Size 45"x27"

24" (4/5/08): picked up unfiltered at 200x just off the west end of a shallow arc of 4 close stars. Appeared fairly faint, fairly small, round, 20" diameter (catalogued dimensions are 45"x27"). Only a mild contrast gain with a UHC filter. Situated in a rich Centaurus star field with a number of 10th magnitude stars in the field.

He 2-72 = PN G294.9-00.
11 41 38.0 -62 28 54
V = 14.5; Size 68"

24" (4/4/08): picked up unfiltered at 260x as a fairly faint, fairly large, round disc, ~70" diameter. Situated at the NW end of Lynga 15, a looping chain of stars that extends N-S and then sharply angles to the west, terminating just before He 2-72! Good contrast gain with a UHC filter at 260x and the planetary is well-defined with a crisp rim.

NGC 5189 = "Spiral Planetary"
13 33 32.8 -65 58 27
V = 9.5; Size 185"x130"

24" (4/11/08): this was the last object of 78 that I logged on 4/11/08 and the perfect end to a great evening with the 24". At 200x with a UHC filter, this amazing planetary displayed an extremely complex morphology. Through the center is a bright, high surface brightness "bar" elongated WSW-ENE and ~1.5'x0.4' in size. This central feature has an uneven surface brightness with a mottled texture. A mag 12 star is superimposed just N of the WSW end and the fainter central star is just south of the bar. A close double star (~3.5") is superimposed just S of the WSW end. At the WSW end, a spiral extension hooks around counterclockwise to the north and passes through a faint star and then ends at a very faint small knot just north of the superimposed star. Just south of the ENE end of the central "bar" is a bright 10" knot. Attached to this knot is another extension that sweeps towards the southwest, ending less than 1' S of center. About 50" E of the bright knot is another 10" knot that appears detached. A mag 12 star is ~50" SW of this knot, just outside the halo of the planetary. All of the brighter features are within a much fainter oval envelope, ~2.5'x2.0'.--

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