New PN "Pickard 1"

In September of 2022, I noted a strange nebulous object on the outskirts of the SMC in legacy images. I believed this to be a planetary nebula that is a part of the SMC.

I reported to Pascal Le Dû, and then I just waited, and waited, and waited. Last night I decided to check up on my object status, and was shocked to see a confirmation from December 16, 2023. I also might just be the first amateur astronomer to discover a PN outside of the Milky Way galaxy.

The object is named Pi 1 (Pickard 1), also known now as PNG 299.6-42.7.
Morph: Bs
Diameter: 12.0 arcseconds


PNG means "planetary nebula galactic meaning in the Milky Way. The designation of galactic PNe does not refer to other PNe in the Magellanic clouds or nearby galaxies.

I don’t think this nebula appears to be in the Milky Way. If in the Milky Way, then it should receive a PNG designation.

Reading further, PNG uses galactic coordinates only for galactic planetary nebulae, and not in other galaxies.


I dont know how exactly the PNG designation works, but based on the size (very small) and the fact it is embedded amongst the outer edge of the SMC, tells me this PN is not part of the Milky Way.

It is rather lonely though, not amongst the core of the SMC.

The shocking part is the appearance. Two lobes, with an oval form involved.


Congratulations, Robert! I wanted to share this book, called “Maybe” by Kobi Yolanda. This is what I got from 8th grade in school about 5 years ago.


I remember back in middle school, reading on how Herschel, and Messier found their famous objects and comets, and thinking to myself: I wanna do it to, but surely it isnt possible for a small town boy like me.
10 years later:
299 star clusters
Over 70 sungrazing comets via SOHO,
Detected activity on an asteroid,
5 supernovae,
And now my very own planetary nebula.

Dreams do come true, due to hard work, trial and error, experiencing failure and defeat, followed up by sheer determination to accomplish the goal at hand. Nothing is impossible.


299-star clusters?? WOW!

1 Like

Indeed, as part of DSH, I have located hundreds of fainter open clusters in the Milky Way. A few can be seen in beginner scopes even for northerners.

1 Like

what, no lenses? :wink:

1 Like

All our dreams come true when you read maybe

1 Like

I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. I think the G stands for the galactic coordinate system rather than denoting a galactic object. Even other galaxies have galactic coordinates, and doesn’t imply they are part of the MW.
Regardless, without an accurate distance, we can’t be sure it’s associated with the SMC, so safer to assume it could be galactic for the moment.

At the distance of the SMC, it has a projected physical diameter of over 3.5 pc which seems big for such an emitter. If you assume a typical diameter for a PN of ~0.6 pc, it gives a distance of just over 10 kpc, 5-6 times closer than the bulk of the SMC.

Could be a larger PN associated with the SMC, could be chance alignment of a MW halo star progenitor. Untill we get an accurate distance, we just don’t know.