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IC 4406 (12,328 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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Retina Nebula

IC 4406, AM 1419-435, ESO 272-6, HD 125720, Hen 2-110, PK 319+15 1, PN G319.6+15.7, PN StWr 4-12, PN Sa 2-105, Retina Nebula

RA: 14h 22m 26.28s
Dec: −44° 09′ 4.3″

Con: Lupus
Ch: MSA:931, U2:404, SA:21


(reference key)

Type: planetary nebula

Mag: B=11.5, V=?

Size: ?
PA: ?

Image gallery

Sketches  (1)

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Historical observations


Stewart had announced this object on Harvard Circular No. 60, and Fleming of Harvard Observatory had also seen the planetary, including it as no. 94 of his list.

Innes, R.T.A

In 1901 R.T.A. Innes was observing with the 7-inch Metz refractor of the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope when he wrote: "As seen with the 7-inch on 14 August 1901 this is a fine planetary nebula, 10th magnitude, about 20" in diameter. Examined on the same night with the 18-inch telescope, it appears dumb-bell-shaped. Mr J. Lunt, with the 24-inch o.g. prism found the spectrum to be that of a gaseous nebula. This nebula also appears on several Carte du Ciel plates. Plate 3689, with 1hour exposure, shows two very elongated spindle-shaped nebulae of the same length, parallel to each other and in contact at their points of greatest condensation or brightness. Angle of elongation = 80 . The different appearances shown by different instruments is instructive. This nebula was also found at Arequipa. See Harvard Circular, No. 60, received here 22/8/1901."

Published comments

Evans & Thackeray (1950)

A photographic survey of bright southern planetary nebulae. M.N.R.A.S., 110(5), 429-439.

Photo index

by Jim Lucyk: Astronomy mag. 6/87 p103, Burnhams V2 p1175.

Modern observations

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 17.5" f/4.5 at 100X, notes: "Pretty bright, pretty large, somewhat elongated, not much, just a greenish dot at 135X.

Contemporary observations

Magda Streicher

(no date)

Alldays (22.50S, 20.12E, 770m).

12-inch f/10 SCT (218x)

Looks more like a galaxy. It shows off two lobs fading out the W-E. The core displays a round impression but bright.

2006 July 01


16-inch f/10 SCT (127x, 290x, 462x)

Conditions: Good

A lovely even boxy glow around 50" in size. With care it looks like the NE side of the nebula is faded out in soft nebulosity, a minute star can also be seen on the NE edge. The SW side is more defined a string of 11Magnitude stars run from east to west in the north of the star field 127x.

Richard Ford

2012 February 19, Sun


Instrument:12-Inch Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.


Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.

Transparency Of the Sky:Haziness only visible on the horizon.

Seeing:Atmosphere stable with little interference.

This planetary nebula has the shape of the retina of an eye when viewed at both 167* and 214*.This nebula however has an oval fuzzy shape which is well defined.I have also noticed that this planetary nebula has two distinct lobes.At low magnification this diffuse planetary nebula is seen as an out of focus star.This nebula also has a pale green structure.The nucleus of this planetary nebula is bright all over.

It measures 1.2'* 0.4'.

Challenge Rating:Difficult.

Carol Botha

2014 April 04, Friday

Object:IC 4406

Observer: Carol Botha

Date: 2014.04.05

Time: 23:00

Location: Betty’s Bay

Instrument: 12 inch Dobsonian F5. Eyepiece: 25mm plossl (x60 fov 50') 8mm uwa (x 180 fov 22')

Sky: Clear

Seeing: Good

Limiting mag: 5.66 6 Corvus

Dimension: 40.0'' x 30.0''

Object Description:

Planetary Nebula in Lupus.

25mm: A bright smudge without distinct colour framed by a few bright stars lying towards the edge of fov: two bright stars S; one very bright W; one bright NNE and one SW which is the brightest of a line of stars (bright to dim) pointing towards the planetary. Closer to planetary are four stars of medium brightness to W. One bright, two less bright form a triangle to NW

8mm UWA: This is where this object becomes really interesting. It is Hip to be Square! No doubt it appears this planetary is square - a bright smudge with a star to the SW, resembling a question mark.

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