PFP 1: A Large Planetary Nebula Caught in the First Stages of ISM Interaction
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
21(3) 334 - 343
Published: 30 September 2004
This paper presents (Hα + [NII]) imaging and spectroscopy of a previously unknown, highly evolved planetary nebula of low excitation which is in the first stages of an interaction with the interstellar medium (ISM). It was discovered serendipitously from AAO/UKST Hα Survey images as part of a project to exploit the survey data and has evaded detection by previous surveys due to its very low surface brightness. It is a remarkable hollow-sphere planetary nebula, some 19´ across, making it one of the largest examples of its type. We estimate a radius of 1.5 pc and a distance of 550 pc as derived from a new Hα surface brightness–radius relation. PFP 1 has near-perfect circular symmetry, broken only at the north-western edge which is coupled with significantly increased (Hα + [NII]) intensity, both of which provide evidence for an interaction with the ISM. We find a near solar composition for this object with possibly enhanced He and N abundances. A blue central star candidate has been identified from the SuperCosmos Sky Survey data.
Keywords: planetary nebulae: general — planetary nebulae: individual (PFP 1) — ISM: abundances — techniques: photometric — techniques: spectroscopic