PFP 1: A large planetary nebula caught in the first stages of ISM interaction

Mark J. Pierce*, David J. Frew, Quentin A. Parker, Joachim Köppen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


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 19́ 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-343
Number of pages10
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • ISM: abundances
  • Planetary nebulae: general
  • Planetary nebulae: individual (PFP 1)
  • Techniques: photometric
  • Techniques: spectroscopic


Dive into the research topics of 'PFP 1: A large planetary nebula caught in the first stages of ISM interaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this