Shapley-1 is a beautiful, small and faint planetary nebula in the constellation Norma. This nebula was discovered in 1936 by Harlow Shapley. Its distance appears to be difficult to determine with enough certainty. The values that appear in the literature range either around 1,000 light years (based on information published by the AAO -Anglo Australian Observatory) in the 90’s or around 4,700-4,900 light years based on more recent observations by D. Jones et al. (2012). The central star is a close binary system. Having a central binary system leads, in the case of planetary nebulae, to a non-spheric structure. Most literature sources affirm that its real structure is that of a “torus” (like a tire), but Jones provides abundant material to propose the more classical “butterfly” structure. The outer halo, more visible as a bluish OIII emission, is not a sphere (as expected by the “torus” model), but more an equatorial, somewhat flat, equatorial ring.

Additional Information


Name(s): Shapley-1, Sp 1, PLN 329+2.1

Type: Planetary Nebula

RA:  15h 51m 43s

Dec: -51ΒΊ 31’ 31”

Constellation: Norma

Size (arcmin): 1.4 arcmin

Magnitude: 12.6

Distance: 4700-4900 ly


Date: 2017-04-19 thru 2017-04-28

Location:, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia

Size (arcmin): 37×37 arcmin and 13×13 arcmin

Telescope: Planewave CDK 20” f/6.8

Camera: SBIG STX16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 9 h (Ha: 3.5h; OIII: 4h; RGB 1.5h, only for the stars)

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2017

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