Robin's Egg Nebula (NGC 1360)

NGC 1360
NGC 1360: Section of the DSS2 [147]


The planetary nebula was discovered by the American astronomer Lewis Swift in 1859 using his private 4.5 inch refractor. [277] Swift did not publish his observation until 1885, that's why the PN was independently discovered by Wilhelm Tempel on 9 October 1861, by August Winnecke in January 1868 and by Eugen Block on 18 October 1878. [196] John L. E. Dreyer listed the planetary nebula as NGC 1360 and added the description: «Star of 8th magnitude in bright, large nebula, elongated north-south.» [313]

Physical Properties

NGC 1360 is a large and evolved planetary nebula without an obvious shell morphology. It is thought to be a prolate ellipsoidal shell with the major axis twice as long and it is tilted by 60° towards the line of sight. A Gaussian radial density profile without a sharp inner edge indicates a lack of compression by stellar wind. The kinematic age is around 10'000 years. The low density of ≤ 130 H atom cm-3 implies that it has begun to merge with the interstellar medium. The regions with low-ionization emission near the end of the major axis expand faster than the shell. They are younger than the nebular shell. [539]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationNGC 1360
Right Ascension03h 33m 14.6s
Declination-25° 52' 16"
Diameter6.42 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude9.6 mag
Visual magnitude9.4 mag
Metric Distance0.392 kpc
Dreyer Description* 8 in B, L neb, E ns
Identification, RemarksPK 220-53.1, ESO 482-PN7, AM 0331-260, CS=11.4

Finder Chart

The planetary nebula NGC 1360 is located in the constellation Fornax (Chemical Furnace) at a declination of -35° and is thus low in the southern sky. The best time for this is around November, when the constellation is highest above the southern horizon at midnight. Follow the River Eridanus next to Rigel in the constellation Orion starting at the second bend of the river. Unless the three stars Dalim (α Fornacis, 3.79 mag) — β Fornacis (4.46 mag) — ν Fornacis (4.96 mag) sink into Milano's dome of light or are blocked by a mountain, they point the way to NGC 1360.

Chart Robin's Egg Nebula (NGC 1360)
Robin's Egg Nebula (NGC 1360) in constellation Fornax. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±30°)


147Aladin Lite; (2020-12-23)
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
313«A New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, being the Catalogue of the late Sir John F.W. Herschel, Bart., revised, corrected, and enlarged» Dreyer, J. L. E. (1888); Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. 49: 1–237; Bibcode:1888MmRAS..49....1D
539«Physical Structure of Planetary Nebulae. III. The Large and Evolved NGC 1360» Goldman, Daniel B.; Guerrero, Martín A.; Chu, You-Hua; Gruendl, Robert A.; The Astronomical Journal, Volume 128, Issue 4, pp. 1711-1715, October 2004; arXiv:astro-ph/0407568; DOI:10.1086/424623; Bibcode:2004AJ....128.1711G