A young multipolar planetary nebula in the making—IRAS 21282+5050

  • Chih-Hao Hsia
  • Yong Zhang
  • Sun KwokEmail author
  • Wayne Chau
Original Article


We present high-angular-resolution Hubble Space Telescope (HST) optical and near-infrared imaging of the compact planetary nebula (PN) IRAS 21282+5050. Optical images of this object reveal several complex morphological structures including three pairs of bipolar lobes and an elliptical shell lying close to the plane of the sky. From near-infrared observations, we found a dust torus oriented nearly perpendicular to the major axis of elliptical shell. The results suggest that IRAS 21282+5050 is a multipolar PN, and these structures developed early during the post asymptotic-giant-branch (AGB) evolution. From a three-dimensional (3-D) model, we derived the physical dimensions of these apparent structures. When the 3-D model is viewed from different orientations, IRAS 21282+5050 shows similar apparent structures as other multipolar PNs. Analysis of the spectral energy distribution and optical spectroscopic observations of the nebula suggests the presence of a cool companion to the hot central star responsible for the ionization of the nebula. Whether the binary nature of the central star has any relations with the multipolar structure of the nebula needs to be further investigated.


Planetary nebulae Post-AGB Stellar evolution 



We thank an anonymous referee for his/her helpful comments. Part of the data presented in this paper were obtained from the Multi-mission Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute (MAST). STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Support for MAST for non-HST data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NAG5- 7584 and by other grants and contracts. We acknowledge the support of the staff of the Xinglong 2.16m telescope. This work was partially supported by the Open Project Program of the Key Laboratory of Optical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Laboratory for Space Research was established by a grant from the University Development Fund of the University of Hong Kong. Financial support for this work is supported by the grants from Science and Technology Development Fund of Macau (project codes: 119/2017/A3 and 061/2017/A2) and a grant to SK from the Natural and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chih-Hao Hsia
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yong Zhang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sun Kwok
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Wayne Chau
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary SciencesMacau University of Science and TechnologyTaipaChina
  2. 2.School of Physics and AstronomySun Yat-Sen UniversityTangjiaChina
  3. 3.Laboratory for Space ResearchThe University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong
  4. 4.Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  5. 5.Department of PhysicsThe University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong

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