Unknown Planetary Nebula in the SMC?

Stumbled upon this object, unlike any galaxy I have ever seen. It appears that this is a planetary nebula. However, SIMBAD gives me no reference of it…



Looks like a great candidate PN to me! You may want to send it to the folks at Planetary Nebulae as they perform spectroscopic followup of candidates.


Wow, upon checking the lists, not listed. This object seems to be new. Now, to check the HASH database. If this is not on that database, then I will have something very interesting.

1 Like

My heart is really thumping right now, because I cannot find this in HASH, or even by using NED.

Time to report…


I showed this to my colleague Arjun Dey at NOIRlab and he said

"This is very cool and totally worth a spectrum. I think this is indeed very likely to be an emission-line source. The galaxy to the SE is a bright WISE source, and i suspect it is an AGN, so the blue/green object could be something like an emission line nebula excited by the AGN.

Definitely worth asking for Gemini or SOAR time to get a quick spectrum!"



Wow Robstar what a find!

1 Like

Could We Publish The Discovery?

1 Like

I reported this to Pascal Le Dû of planetarynebulae.net early this morning.

Now we wait, overall a great find, showing good structure and detail. If anyone else wants to attempt to verify this or obtain a spectrum, sure, go ahead. But I have reported this so the discovery is still safe.

Great find, congrats!

1 Like

Thank you!

Sounds like it has Galaxy Zoo / Bill Keel / Voorwerpjes written all over it too then :smiley:

(Pssshh oh and we’re also now at 38 confirmed new Voorwerpjes! 38!!! And not even all good candidates have been followed up yet I assume, since there were loads of new ones in the Southern hemispere with DR10 release)

( :tada:)

1 Like

Impressive :slightly_smiling_face:

You mean this could be a Voorwerpje from the AGN nearby?

To think of it, it does line up with the nucleus and angle of that galaxy. If this is the case, this is an example of one that I have never ever seen before in regards to the detail and structure observed.

Instead of a sloppy green nebula that is hard to see, this thing pops right out.

I wanna call it “Robert’s Object”

It has the distinct look of a galactic planetary nebula and appears in all four bands, so it’s unlikely its a voorwerp.

I agree, like I do not see any resemblance to a Voorwerpe. The two lobes plus the ring are the dead giveaway to me. How this object escaped detection, must be just pure luck. Despite looking at lists of known SMC PNe, I get nothing for it. Cant find any reason to not keep my hopes up for it.

And still considering the structure seen, I don’t see a PNe that is “similar” in appearance so the angle we see this one at, is somewhat unique. I also noticed that outside the two lobes, I see two feeble wing structures at 12:00 and 6:00.

I don’t think the morphology is that unusual for a PN. Asymmetry is usually thought to be a result of progenitor binarity.

It’s quite faint, and I don’t believe there have been many sky surveys covering the magellanic cloud areas with high resolution. I looked at VMC (which is the highest res one I know of) and there’s no detection (not necessarily a surprise since VISTA looks in the near-infrared). It’s also on the far outskirts of the SMC so is less likely to have been caught in incidental observations.

This area is ripe for discoveries in DR10. We should keep looking!

My comment was merely a reaction to Dustin’s comment; my main method for finding Voorwerp candidates was based on bright WISE objects, which indeed also led me to many PNe’s (sort of same WISE signature)

If it is visible in all four bands I agree it is likely not a Voorwerp

Also it seems no one checked VizieR; there is a PNe classification in ‘Herschel key program Heritage (Seale+, 2014)’, so unfortunately not 100% new in literature / catalogs

I’ve had this same problem with two candidate new PNe’s, VizieR is such a killjoy, even if they’re only registered as candidates…


Oh well, I tried.

1 Like

Well… ofcourse without a spectrum nothing is 100% certain, but for me personally having an object with even one reference as ‘candidate object x’ somewhere means it isn’t new / completely unknown