Spiral planetary nebula

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Spiral planetary nebula
NGC 5189.png
Observational Data
Designation NGC 5189
IC 4274
Right ascension 13h 33m 32.86s[1]
Declination -65° 58′ 27.1″[1]
Constellation Musca
Type of object Planetary nebula
Dimensions 163.4" × 108.2"[2]
Magnitude Apparent Mag: +14.5[3]
Absolute Mag: +5.8[4]
Distance from Earth 1,800 ly[5]
Radial velocity -8±4 km/s[6]

The Spiral planetary nebula (NGC 5189, IC 4274, Gum 47) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Musca, the fly.[7] Planetary nebulae were originally termed "planetary nebulae" as they normally appear circular (Ring nebula, Owl nebula) through telescopes, similar to planets, though some possess two lobes such as in the Butterfly nebula. However NGC 5189 is unusual, since it is neither of these shapes, and instead is shaped like the letter "S", hence the "spiral" in its common name.

Properties and Structure

The Spiral planetary nebula is located around 1,800 light years from Earth, though a few estimates are larger, putting it at close to 3,000 light years.[5][7] The nebula covers an area of sky equivalent to 163.4 × 108.2 arcseconds, meaning it is around 1.4 × 0.95 light years in size.[2] The nebula has a radial velocity of -9.5 km/s, the negative sign indicating it is approaching Earth and a temperature of (1.31±0.05)×104 kelvin.[8][9] As with the majority of other planetary nebulae, there is a star (specifically a white dwarf) at the heart of the nebula. The star is designated HD 117622.

NGC 5189 has a "S" shape structure unlike most other planetary nebula. Within the nebula are filamentary and knotted structures that can also be found in other planetary nebulae.[8] The nebula is comprised of three concentric bubble like structures or rings, wwith the innermost ring expanding at 25.3 km/s.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 NGC 5189 from the SIMBAD Astronomical Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 Danehkar, A., Karovska, M., Maksym, W. and Montez, R. (2018). Mapping Excitation in the Inner Regions of the Planetary Nebula NGC 5189 Using HST WFC3 Imaging. The Astrophysical Journal, 852(2), p.87. arXiv:1711.11111
  3. Ciardullo, R., Bond, H., Sipior, M., Fullton, L., Zhang, C. and Schaefer, K. (1999). A HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE Survey for Resolved Companions of Planetary Nebula Nuclei. The Astronomical Journal, 118(1), pp.488-508. arXiv:astro-ph/9904043 Bibcode: 1999AJ....118..488C Online
  4. From definition of absolute magnitude, using apparent magnitude (+14.5) and distance (1,800 ly) given here.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Keller, G., Bianchi, L. and Maciel, W. (2014). UV spectral analysis of very hot H-deficient [WCE]-type central stars of planetary nebulae: NGC 2867, NGC 5189, NGC 6905, Pb 6 and Sand 3. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 442(2), pp.1379-1395. arXiv:1405.6763
  6. Manick, R., Miszalski, B. and McBride, V. (2015). A radial velocity survey for post-common-envelope Wolf–Rayet central stars of planetary nebulae: first results and discovery of the close binary nucleus of NGC 5189. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 448(2), pp.1789-1806. Bibcode: 2015MNRAS.448.1789M Online
  7. 7.0 7.1 [1] from apod.nasa.gov
  8. 8.0 8.1 NGC 5189, a planetary nebula in Musca from annesastronomynews.com
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sabin, L., Vázquez, R., Lopéz, J. and García-Diaz, M. (2011). The multi-polar planetary nebula NGC 5189. Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 7(S283), pp.490-491. arXiv:1203.1297