Planetary nebulae

Planetary nebulae (PN) are enigmatic and photogenic celestial objects but have nothing to do with planets. They are the glowing shrouds of dying stars and extremely powerful astrophysical tools.

They offer a brief window into the soul of most star’s lives and hold the solution to the many mysteries of late stage stellar evolution. The world-leading Macquarie PN research group has been at the forefront of research into these fascinating objects for over 12 years.

We have led an international team that has more than doubled the number of PN discovered in our own galaxy by all telescopes and astronomers over the previous 150+ years. This was accomplished using a novel, narrow-band, wide-field imaging survey of the Southern Galactic plane undertaken in Australia and led by the same Macquarie team.

Exploitation of these major discoveries has continued apace, aided by new high sensitivity, high resolution, multi-wavelength imaging surveys now available – resulting in many Macquarie-led publications.

Significantly, we have  now provided an accessible, reliable,  online “one-stop” cutting-edge database for facilitating research into PN for the first time.

We have reliably removed many PN mimics/false IDs that have biased previous compilations and studies and provide accurate, updated positions, sizes, morphologies, radial velocities, fluxes, multi-wavelength imagery and spectroscopy for all known galactic PNe.

Astronomers can sift, select, browse, collate, investigate, download and visualise the complete inventory of currently known galactic PNe, providing the community with the most complete data resource with which to undertake new science for years to come.

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