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NGC 5189, planetary nebula imaged in narrow emission lines

Tags: galaxy, spiral, nebula, supernova

The peculiarity of NGC 5189 lies in its astonishingly complex structure, first noted by Sir John Herschel, who discovered it in 1835. Seen through the telescope it seems to have an 'S' shape, reminiscent of a barred spiral galaxy. This is seen in the colour photograph as the central yellowish part. Deep photographs such as this show many filaments, rather more reminiscent of the Crab nebula, a supernova remnant, than a planetary nebula. Unlike the Crab nebula, NGC 5189 is remarkably symmetrical. Distances to planetary nebulae are notoriously difficult to measure, but this one is estimated to be about 3000 light years away.

Made from AAT Taurus data obtained by Steve Lee in May 1997
Top left is NE. Image width is about 7 arc min.

© Australian Astronomical Observatory