A Compact X-Ray Source and Possible X-Ray Jets within the Planetary Nebula Menzel 3

Joel H. Kastner, Rochester Institute of Technology
Bruce Balick, University of Washington
Eric G. Blackman, University of Rochester
Adam Frank, University of Rochester
Noam Soker, Oranim, Tivon
Saeqa D. Vrtílek, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Jingqiang Li, Rochester Institute of Technology

© 2003 The American Astronomical Society

Support for this research was provided by NASA/CXO grant GO2–3009X to RIT. Geoffrey Franz assisted in preparation of data for Figs. 1 and 3. N.S. acknowledges support from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation. S.D.V acknowledges support from NASA grant NAG5–6711.ISSN:1538-4365

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.


We report the discovery, by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, of X-ray emission from the bipolar planetary nebula Menzel 3. In Chandra CCD imaging, Mz 3 displays hot (~3-6 × 10^6 K) gas within its twin, coaxial bubbles of optical nebulosity, as well as a compact X-ray source at the position of its central star(s). The brightest diffuse X-ray emission lies along the polar axis of the optical nebula, suggesting a jet-like configuration. The observed combination of an X-ray-emitting point source and possible X-ray jet(s) is consistent with models in which accretion disks and, potentially, magnetic fields shape bipolar planetary nebulae via the generation of fast, collimated outflows (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas).