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).

Publication Date



© 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

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Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus