PK38-25.1: A Planetary Nebula in Cetus

PK38-25.1 with a background galaxy.

I subscribe in email to a wonderful service really designed by graduate students for undergraduate students. Many of the articles they post are really interesting and I love following Astrobites. Today, in this article, they discuss planetary nebula and specifically a study done on Abell 70 a very interesting planetary nebula that is a binary system and as a side note it has a background galaxy at the top of it. You can see this at this APOD image here. What is fascinating is that in this system the central stars are a solar-temperature main sequence or subgiant star (G8IV-V) and a hot white dwarf (WD) companion. The white dwarf is really faint and was identified not by optical spectroscopy, but by UV imaging (see the article please).

This planetary nebula is in the constellation of Aquila and is primed for both visual observing and astro-photographic. It has a visual magnitude of 14.3 so in the right size scope, but it is challenging because of the star field and neither a OIII or Ultrablock filer helps much here. Here are some links about viewing these:

Jay McNeil Data found here.

:Update: December 22nd, 2013 (16 months after the original post): At the request of the original poster of the observation who left me a comment tonight saying I didn't not credit him in the tabular data, though  I did post a link back to his page which gives him the credit, (see this link where it discusses how a link is a bibliography and shows the author of a blog is not claiming the original work as their own while directing traffic back to the original author. It states: "it’s also polite to link back to the author’s original work. This makes it clear that you’re not claiming that you created it yourself, while also helping to broaden the audience for the original poster. Linking is the virtual equivalent of a bibliography – it gives credit to the work of the original authors and helps to build the blogging community by creating connections between writers.").  I have decided thought to remove the table of his observation and the link and not drive traffic to his observation. Evidently that observer does not want their information posted or linked to their site on another site or blog. No offense was intended and as stated, the original was linked back to the observer's own web site to give the author both credit and to drive traffic to their website.. The data is removed and if I find I did that to any of his other observations, I will remove them.

I'll offer a richer replacement though with a link to the Deep Sky Forum Object of the Week for September 9th, 2012 which has several different recorded views of this PN and Galaxy. Someone going to observe this object will find a more complete set of information there I believe anyway.

So if your in for a challenge this summer and like planetary nebula then this can be a good challenge object for you. I am going to try for it this weekend and will hopefully have a succesful hunt. Here are some finder charts from Starry Night Pro to help. It is just above the Saturn Nebula (another great planetary nebula to view) and Messier 72 & Messier 73. Click on the image to make it larger. The star hops are from Al Bali, the end star in Aquarius. Good luck!