Serendipity and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Discovery of the largest known planetary nebula on the sky

Paul C. Hewett, Michael J. Irwin, Evan D. Skillman, Craig B. Foltz, Jon P. Willis, Stephen J. Warren, Nicholas A. Walton

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Abstract

Investigation of spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey reveals the presence of a region of ionized gas of greater than 2° diameter centered approximately at α = 10h37m, 5 = -00°18′ (J2000.0) (Galactic coordinates I = 248°, b = +48°). [O III] λλ4959, 5007 emission is particularly strong, and emission from Hα and [N II] λλ6548, 6583 is also detectable over a substantial area on the sky. The combination of emission-line ratios, the close to zero heliocentric radial velocity, and the morphology of the structure is consistent with an identification as a very nearby planetary nebula. The proximity of the hot, DO white dwarf PG 1034+001 further strengthens this interpretation. The object is (1) the largest planetary nebula on the sky, (2) certainly closer than any planetary nebula other than Sh 2-216, and (3) the first to be unambiguously associated with a DO white dwarf. A parallax distance for PG 1034+001 would establish whether the structure is in fact the closest, and one of the physically largest, planetary nebulae known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L37-L40
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume599
Issue number1 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 10 2003

Keywords

  • Planetary nebulae: individual (Hewett 1)
  • White dwarfs

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    Hewett, P. C., Irwin, M. J., Skillman, E. D., Foltz, C. B., Willis, J. P., Warren, S. J., & Walton, N. A. (2003). Serendipity and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Discovery of the largest known planetary nebula on the sky. Astrophysical Journal, 599(1 II), L37-L40. https://doi.org/10.1086/381139