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).
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Astrophys.J.L. 591 (2003) L37-L40
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