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What's your opinion: Is Abell 11 a reflection nebula or galaxy?

Charts DSO Imaging Observing
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#1 SNH

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 06:20 AM

So, recently, Uwe Glahn and I were discussing the nature of Abell 11. He said that it's clearly a galaxy on images even though basically every place on the Internet lists it as a reflection nebula. Well, I've now looked into it and I have to also say that it also clearly looks like a galaxy on images to me. But what do you say?

George Abell discovered it on survey plates taken in Orion and believed it to be a planetary nebula. It wasn't until the sometime in the 1980's that it was first considered to be not a planetary nebula but instead a reflection nebula. The only reference I can find for it being cataloged as a galaxy is in the 2006 release of The Two Micron All Sky Survey.

 

 

Below is a 1' wide image of Abell 11 from the PanSTARRS archives.

Abell 11 1arcmin PanSTARRS.JPG

 

 

Below is a 1' wide image of Abell 64 (a confirmed galaxy) from the PanSTARRS archives.

Abell 64 1arcmin PanSTARRS.jpeg

 

 

Below is a 1' wide image of Abell 76 (a confirmed galaxy) from the SDSS archives.

Abell 76 1arcmin SDSS.png

 

 

Scott


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#2 VariableBob

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 07:14 AM

Small, fain fuzzies and it does not help that there is a red cross hair in the center of the image.  I think that the red cross hair is over the star associated with planetary nebula.  Abell 64 appears to be a barred galaxy which has a nucleus present.  There does not appear to be a bar or spiral arms in Abel 11.  Abel 76 is definitely a ring galaxy.  Spectroscopy would clear this up; however these objects are small and dim and are way down the priority list for spectroscopic imaging.  I hope that someone with more knowledge can be of assistance, 



#3 Voyager 3

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 07:30 AM

I didn't get any search results in my sky safari when I hit search after typing Abell 11. Sundar Pichai said the same ! How did you find out info abt this?


Edited by Voyager 3, 17 April 2021 - 08:49 AM.


#4 SNH

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 07:57 AM

Small, fain fuzzies and it does not help that there is a red cross hair in the center of the image.  I think that the red cross hair is over the star associated with planetary nebula.  Abell 64 appears to be a barred galaxy which has a nucleus present.  There does not appear to be a bar or spiral arms in Abel 11.  Abel 76 is definitely a ring galaxy.  Spectroscopy would clear this up; however these objects are small and dim and are way down the priority list for spectroscopic imaging.  I hope that someone with more knowledge can be of assistance, 

Here you go, Bob. See if this wider image helps you make up your mind and then let me know because I think I see a bar and spiral arms!

abell 11 wide PanSTARRS.png

 

I didn't get any search results in my sky safari when I hit search after typing Abell 11. Sundar Pichai said the same ! How for you find out info abt this?

I don't have Sky Safari, but in SIMBAD it is listed as PN A66 11 or PK 196-12.1 at RA 05:37:21.6 Dec +08:15:29.3. Does that help?

 

Scott


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#5 StanH

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 08:20 AM

So, recently, Uwe Glahn and I were discussing the nature of Abell 11. He said that it's clearly a galaxy on images even though basically every place on the Internet lists it as a reflection nebula. Well, I've now looked into it and I have to also say that it also clearly looks like a galaxy on images to me. But what do you say?

George Abell discovered it on survey plates taken in Orion and believed it to be a planetary nebula. It wasn't until the sometime in the 1980's that it was first considered to be not a planetary nebula but instead a reflection nebula. The only reference I can find for it being cataloged as a galaxy is in the 2006 release of The Two Micron All Sky Survey.

 

 

Below is a 1' wide image of Abell 11 from the PanSTARRS archives.

attachicon.gifAbell 11 1arcmin PanSTARRS.JPG

 

 

Below is a 1' wide image of Abell 64 (a confirmed galaxy) from the PanSTARRS archives.

attachicon.gifAbell 64 1arcmin PanSTARRS.jpeg

 

 

Below is a 1' wide image of Abell 76 (a confirmed galaxy) from the SDSS archives.

attachicon.gifAbell 76 1arcmin SDSS.png

 

 

Scott

Abell 11  sure looks like a galaxy to me.  NED classifies as a galaxy WISEA J053721.57+081529.1 though no recessional data.  There is a galaxy about 15' WNW that is similar in size.  It is 2MASX J05362279+0820257 with z = 0.03519.


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#6 j.gardavsky

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 09:00 AM

Very interesting!

 

With some more Photoshopping,


Abelle.jpg

 

Best,

JG


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#7 PEterW

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 09:54 AM

What’s the spectrum like, if there is any redshift then it’s going to be far away. I’m sure some online dataset could tell us.

Peter
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#8 sanbai

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 10:01 AM

If someone knows how to access different sky surveys of this area at different wavelengths, we may get an idea. A reflection nebula should have quite a plain spectrum , similar to the stars involved, and mostly homogeneous all across. Planetary nebulas have strong and particular emission lines. A galaxy should have different zones. It looks to me that here there is a yellowish core and bluish surrounding.

Spectroscopy would be better, of course.



#9 sanbai

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 10:10 AM

To make things difficult to the amateur looking into data, I just see that there's also a Abell catalog of galaxy clusters, with an "Abell 11" in there too (redshift of the cluster 0.166). Nothing to do with the object of discussion, from the Abell catalog of planetary nebulas, I guess.



#10 SNH

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 12:55 PM

Like StanH said, it has no redshift listed in NED. Maybe because it is in the band of the Milky Way (Zone of Avoidance) it hasn't been studied much? And to answer Sanbai, it is listed as PN A66 11 in certain professional sources.
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#11 Sheol

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 05:44 PM

                           Sure looks like a galaxy, Never seen reflection nebulae visually or in a photo show detail like THAT.

                           Just saying.

 

                           Clear Skies,

                              Matt.



#12 Bill Weir

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 10:28 PM

Simbad search says galaxy. Looks like one to me

 

http://simbad.u-stra...ubmit=submit id

 

Bill


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#13 Pcbessa

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 10:36 AM

Which are the coordinates for Abell 11? Do you have a star chart? I could have a look with my 10".

Not sure what is the nature of this object.
Weird for a galaxy, weird for a planetary nebula.

#14 catalogman

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 12:21 PM

"...it is very probable that A 11 is a reflection nebula" because no emission lines were observed in
(Lutz and Kaler, 1983ApJ...273..397L).

 

SIMBAD gets its galaxy classification from (Skiff, Vizier B/mk) and the GLADE galaxy catalogue.

 

-- catalogman


Edited by catalogman, 18 April 2021 - 02:07 PM.


#15 Redbetter

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Posted 18 April 2021 - 03:35 PM

Pretty obviously a galaxy, especially compared to that galaxy not too far away with similar size and structure.  It is only the fringe/disruption on the north side which complicates the visual impression.  Being bluer, I assume that this area features active star formation.  Possibly it is some shredded vestige of an encounter with, or remnants of a companion.


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#16 SNH

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Posted 19 April 2021 - 07:10 AM

I just want to say thank you to everyone who tried to help answer my question. What's funny is that I saw that Uwe had it listed as a galaxy on his website. So I contacted him about that and told him that every place I had ever read about Abell 11 (including Kent Wallace's book Visual Observations of Planetary Nebula) said it was a reflection nebula. He responded that it was indeed a galaxy. Now I was really puzzled and had to look into the matter. And as soon as I saw the PanSTARRS image, I knew he was right! So that's why I posted this question -- to let more people see it for themselves and hopefully come to the same conclusion.

 

Scott

 

Which are the coordinates for Abell 11? Do you have a star chart? I could have a look with my 10".

Not sure what is the nature of this object.
Weird for a galaxy, weird for a planetary nebula.

PK 196-12.1 at RA 05:37:21.6 Dec +08:15:29.3.


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#17 CowTipton

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 07:37 PM

Yea looks like a barred spiral to me.



#18 Bill Weir

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:04 PM

I just want to say thank you to everyone who tried to help answer my question. What's funny is that I saw that Uwe had it listed as a galaxy on his website. So I contacted him about that and told him that every place I had ever read about Abell 11 (including Kent Wallace's book Visual Observations of Planetary Nebula) said it was a reflection nebula. He responded that it was indeed a galaxy. Now I was really puzzled and had to look into the matter. And as soon as I saw the PanSTARRS image, I knew he was right! So that's why I posted this question -- to let more people see it for themselves and hopefully come to the same conclusion.

 

Scott

 

PK 196-12.1 at RA 05:37:21.6 Dec +08:15:29.3.

Just to be whiny little so and so I’m going to wish you’d posted this query about a month or so back.  In my area of the world a hope of looking for this is going to have to wait a year. I’ve left myself a post it note Easter Egg in my Uranometria to find at some point My curiosity is peaked.

 

Bill




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