Scientists Examined a Bipolar Planetary Nebula: What Should You Know

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An international team of astronomers joined their forces and examined a bipolar planetary nebula, dubbed IPHASX J191104.8+060845. Their findings offer essential information about the physical traits and morphology of the newly spotted space object. 

Planetary nebulae or PNe are expanding some shells-like of dust and gas that have been discharged from a star during its development from the main sequence object into a white dwarf or a red giant. They are rare, but significant for astronomers investigating the chemical evolution of galaxies and stars. Here is what you need to know. 

New Planetary Nebula in the Spotlight

The IPHAS (Isaac Newton Telescope Photometric H-alpha Survey) is one of the most significant surveys of the northern galactic plane, with the 2.5 meters Isaac Newton Telescope (INT), in Spain. The survey is perfect for catching extended evolved planetary nebulae at the PNe luminosity function’s faint edge. So far, IPHAS has spotted over 150 potential PNe exhibiting various types of morphologies. 

IPHASX J191104.8+060845 or J181104, for short, is a PN tracked by IPHAS and confirmed by the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC). The international team of astronomers was led by Janis Berenice Rodriguez-Gonzalez of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. They realized follow-up observations of J181104 to determine its morphology, nature, and physical features. For such a task, they utilized the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT). 

J181104 in Full Detail

The NOT photos are incredibly intriguing. They display the main cavity with two elongated low-surface-brightness lobes toward the northwest and southwest directions. Astronomers discovered that J181104 has a bright inner oval structure enclosing the main hole, surrounded by loose parts of emission of ionized nitrogen and doubly ionized oxygen. 

The distance to J181104 is approximately 16,000 light-years. Its age is about 11,000 years, while its temperature reaches almost 8,000 K. According to the astronomers, J181104 is rich in oxygen, nitrogen, and helium. The results indicate that dust has survived the development of the PN’s central for 11,000 years.

The team still needs time to figure out more about the bipolar planetary nebula.

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