March 2016 - Picture of the Month
NGC 5189 in the Constellation of Musca
This is a beautiful image of an extraordinary planetary nebula in the Southern skies. Its status as a planetary nebula is relatively recent due to its size and unusual structure, being settled by spectroscopic measurements. Hubble took a look a few years ago and provided supporting evidence for this being a binary system, so there's a double star in the Picture of the Month.
It would appear that opinion has been divided over the discoverer of this object: John Herschel from the Cape in 1835 or James Dunlop in 1826. NGC 5189 has been shown to correspond to Δ252 in Dunlop's catalogue, and so it would seem that Dunlop was there first.
It's also one of those objects with an impressive array of identities.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.