|Observation data: J2000.0 epoch|
|Right ascension||07h 41m 50.51986s|
|Declination||−14° 44′ 07.4843″|
|Distance||1,370 ± 130 ly (420 ± 40 pc) ly|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||+10.8|
|Apparent dimensions (V)||1.1 arcmins|
|Notable features||Superimposed on Messier 46|
|Designations||H IV.39, FC 87, PK 231+4.2|
NGC 2438 is a planetary nebula in the southern constellation of Puppis. Parallax measurements by Gaia put the central star at a distance of roughly 1,370 light years. It was discovered by William Herschel on March 19, 1786. NGC 2438 appears to lie within the cluster M46, but it is most likely unrelated since it does not share the cluster's radial velocity. The case is yet another example of a superposed pair, joining the famed case of NGC 2818.
This is a multi-shell planetary nebula with a bright inner nebula with a diameter of 60″, consisting of two somewhat detached shells. It is expanding with a velocity of 37 km/s. The structure is surrounded by a fainter, mostly circular halo that is more visible on the western half, and has a diameter of 130″. The mass of the main nebula is estimated at 0.45 M☉, while the shell has 0.5–0.8 M☉. The main nebula has a temperature of about 10–13,000 K, rising to 15–17,000 K at the inner edge.
The nebula consists of material ejected from the central star during the asymptotic giant branch stage, beginning some 8,500 years ago. The main nebula was formed at about half that age. The central star of this planetary nebula is a 17.7-magnitude white dwarf, with surface temperature of about 75,000 K (74,700 °C). It is one of the hottest stars known.
HaRGB image of the planetary nebula NGC 2348, from the Liverpool Telescope
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- Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (2011-04-07). "Planetary Nebula NGC 2438". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
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- Öttl, S.; et al. (May 2014). "Ionization structure of multiple-shell planetary nebulae. I. NGC 2438". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 565: 13. arXiv:1403.6715. Bibcode:2014A&A...565A..87O. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201323205. A87.
- Corradi, R. L. M.; et al. (February 2000). Manchado, A.; Stanghellini, L.; Schoenberner, D. (eds.). "A hydrodynamical study of multiple-shell planetaries . I. NGC 2438". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 354: 1071–1085. Bibcode:2000A&A...354.1071C.
- Dalnodar, Silvia (August 2012). The ionization state of the halo planetary nebula NGC 2438. Planetary Nebulae: An Eye to the Future, Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, IAU Symposium. Vol. 283. pp. 338–339. arXiv:1109.5609. Bibcode:2012IAUS..283..338D. doi:10.1017/S1743921312011313.
- "Planetary Nebula NGC 2438 in Puppis". kopernik.org. March 13, 2000. Retrieved 2011-04-08.