ML> J. Patrick Harrington's Home Page Name: J. Patrick Harrington

Here is an image of NGC 6543 (the "Cat's Eye Nebula") taken with the Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2
(J.P. Harrington & K.J. Borkowski) in the three ions of oxygen: red is [O I] 6300Å, blue is
[O II] 3727Å,and green is [O III] 5007Å.

The study of planetary nebulae has been the focus of my research. Particular interests have been construction of photoionization models, radiative transfer problems, dust and thermal infrared emission in planetaries, and observations of these nebulae with a variety of instruments, including the Hubble Space Telescope and ISO.

---- RESEARCH -----

Here is a list of my publications over the years: Publications.
The Eskimo Nebula
In January 2000 the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope took new images of the Eskimo planetary nebula. Here are computer simulations which show what we think is the 3-dimensional structure of the nebula and of how the wind from the central star has shaped it.
One in a long series of IAU Symposia on "Planetary Nebulae" was held April 2006 in Hawaii: (IAU Symp. No. 234). Here is a poster I presented on the planetary nebula NGC 2610.

The third conference in a series on asymmetric planetary nebulae was held at Mt. Rainier, WA, during the summer of of 2003 (APN3). I presented one of the summary talks; just a sampling of current research: Emerging Directions and Critical Research.

We have a paper on the expansion and distance of the nebula BD+30 3639, which appeared in the Astronomical Journal (v. 123, p. 2676) in May 2002. You can find it on astro-ph or here (in .pdf format). Here are the figures: Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3, Fig. 4, Fig. 5, Fig. 6, Fig. 7, Fig. 8, Fig. 9.

Another interest is hydrogen deficient planetary nebulae. I wrote a short review of these objects "Observations and models of H-deficient planetary nebulae", which is in "Hydrogen- Deficient Stars", ed. C.S. Jeffery and U. Heber (PASP Conf. Ser. 96).

Here is an image of the protoplanetary He3-1475. This HST image shows, in unprecedented detail, jets producing a series of point-symmetric condensations. This color image was produced by combining our (Borkowski & Harrington) image obtained through the F658N [N II] filter of the HST WFPC2 (red) with a broad-band image taken by Matt Bobrowsky (Orbital Sciences Corp.) through the F555W filter (green). Our paper (K.J. Borkowski, J. Blondin and J.P. Harrington, Ap.J. Letters, 10 June 1997) discusses the production of these features by oblique shocks.

We have a paper (Ap.J., 550, 778) on the kinematics of the jets: Link to astro-ph

In addition to He 3-1475, three other nebulae have so far been imaged as part of our Cycle 6 snapshot program to search for jets in planetary nebulae. The target list has been drawn from nebulae with point symmetric morphologies and from objects with spectroscopic indications of high velocity flows. We presented images of them at the 190th AAS Meeting [Borkowski, K.J., Blondin, J.M., & Harrington, J.P. (1997) BAAS, 29, 786 -- abstract 7.05]. North is up and east to the left in these images.

NGC 6210. This is an HST WF2 Image in [N II]. While the bright parts of this nebula are chaotic and very asymmetrically placed with respect to the central star, there is also a fainter, symmetric, two-lobed bubble. Along the axis of this bubble 17" to the northeast of the star, is an elongated "bullet". This bullet is actually the brightest part of one of the pair of point symmetric "arms" that can be seen in a deep CCD image by Balick et al. (1992).

Hu 2-1 in H-alpha and in [N II]. The innermost ring seen in H-alpha, with a major axis of 0.7", was observed with the HST PC by Bobrowski (1996). The [N II] image, on the other hand, seems to show a cylindrical cavity which opens into a bi-lobal structure. In our deeper images, one can see how the axis of the nebular structure twists counterclockwise as we progress outward.

Hb 4, also in H-alpha and [N II]. We targeted this nebula because of the two outlying radial segments seen in the CCD images of Schwarz, Corradi & Melnick (1992). The HST images show how complex these features really are. The [N II] image of the northern segment, in particular, shows a distinct "corkscrew" structure. The southern segment may have a similar structure, but it is harder to trace. Also note that in the H-alpha image, the southern segment is in line with the "nipple" in the faint arc of nebulosity outside the bright core. A paper by Lopez, Steffen & Meaburn (1997) finds that the corkscrew segments have velocities of +/- 150 km/sec.

Balick, B., Gonzalez, G., Frank, A., & Jacoby, G. 1992. Ap.J., 392, 582.
Bobrowsky, M. 1996. in ``Science with the Hubble Space Telescope - II", P. Benvenuti, F.D. Macchetto, & E.J. Schreier eds., p 410.
Lopez, J.A., Steffen, W., & Meaburn, J. 1997. Ap.J., 485, 697.
Schwarz, H.E., Corradi, R.L.M., & Melnick, J. 1992. A&AS, 96, 23.

Here is a paper on the whole jet survey: Link to astro-ph

The Polarization of Radiation from Stellar Atmospheres.

In addition to thermal absorption and emission, the gas in stellar atmospheres scatters radiation. The main source of scattering is free electrons (in hot stars) and Rayleigh scattering by atomic hydrogen (in cool stars). This scattering leads to polarization of the emergent radiation. Based on available model atmospheres, we present the polarization and limb darkening for stars of many types:
Stellar Polarization.   --> NEW: Doppler Polarization. and Polarization from Tidal Distortion.

J and Astronomy

Over the years, I have made constant use of `J', a terse computer language.
This page provides some examples of my J code applied to astronomical problems,
particularly to radiative transfer problems involving polarization and line transfer.
( Kepler-16 and TRAPPIST-1 [Fig. 1, Fig. 2, Fig. 3] too...)
NOTE: There is a "J" app for android phones and iPhones/iPads! (see J page link above)
Geometric Algebra

Geometric Algebra is a powerful and logical system which superceeds traditional vector analysis. If you have never
encountered this area before (releated names: Clifford algebras or Grassmann algebra) you should take a look.
A clear introduction to this math is Linear and Geometric Algebra by Alan Macdonald. (Also, this paper.)
The classic text developing applications to many areas of physics is Geometric Algebra for Physicists by Doran and Lasenby. Another very nice text is A New Approach to Differential Geometry using Clifford's Geometric Algebra by John Snygg.
A Song

From the old Mathematical Society of London, we have the Astronomer's Drinking Song, which seems to have been sung at a meeting around 1800. It's too good to be forgotten. The history can be found in "A Budget of Paradoxes" by Augustus de Morgan.

---- NOT Astronomy -----

(Above: a tiny sketch by Edward Calvert).


Here are a few souvenirs of Siebenburgen. In the 11th century, Germans emigrated to Transylvania where they settled, built cities, and maintained a separate identity in the land they called "Siebenburgen". These so-called "Transylvanian Saxons" have now mostly emigrated back to Germany, unwilling to lose their identity in communist Romania and its aftermath. But the strange medieval character of the Transylvanian cities remains a witness to their history.
Here are a few images from my visit in August 1995.

One of the most charming of all the old towns is Schassburg (Sighisoara in Romanian), which is crowned by the great clock tower. A few steps beyond the tower is the house where Vlad Tepes (AKA Dracula) was born. I found a restaurant on the second floor; we had a very pleasant lunch there.
(Compare the tower with this 19th century print.)

The quintessential Saxon city was Hermannstadt (Sibiu). The dormer windows in the roofs seem to regard you with sleepy eyes, while the arched openings turn buildings into Bosch-like creatures.

Most characteristic are the "Kirchenburgen", the fortified churches, which were a place of refuge in troubled times. This church is located near Kronstadt (Brasov). The name is Tartlau.

In the wall surrounding the church at Mediasch (Medias), I found this wonderful old door. More art deco than medieval, it nevertheless carries an aura of mystery.

The Yazidi Sanctuary in Aknalich, Armenia

On 29 May 2015, I visited this new Yazidi Temple, located just outside Yerevan, Armenia.
Here are further views of the sanctuary complex.

"Time, Apollo and the Seasons" by Claude Lorrain

This is one of Claude's last etchings, completed about 1662 [Mannocci 43, state v B (of vii)]. Apollo (in his role as the Sun god) leads the Four Seasons as they dance to the music of Time. In the background, men go about their business, for they cannot see the gods who share the landscape with them.

"Now these things never happened, but always are." -- Sallustius

The inscription reads:

"Apollo in the act of obeying Time. Spring starts the dance. Summer with its heat is not absent.
Autumn follows with its sweet wine. Winter marks its season."

A related, previously unknown painting came to light in 1987.

The Etchings of Claude Lorrain and Gaspard Dughet.

"March" from the series of 12 months by Theodor Meyer (1599)

"The Beech-Tree" by Charles E. Burchfield (1919)

Zinc plate etching, 5 1/8 x 8 1/4 in. This heavily-inked impression is titled "The Beech-tree" at the lower left, although the title is usually given as "Beech Tree and the Valley of the Little Beaver". Between July and September, 1919, Burchfield completed this and nine other etchings. Only trial proofs of the plates were pulled by Frank Wilcox, who had encouraged him to try this medium. In 1953 an edition of ten impressions was printed from this plate, in connection with an exhibition of Burchfield's drawings. This is Burchfield's only published etching. The fact that the impression shown here is titled but not numbered suggests that this is a proof pulled in 1919. Many of the proofs were titled. The Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo NY holds one of the 1953 impressions; it is not titled, but is numbered in the lower right corner. In addition to this etching, there are a few other prints by Charles Burchfield.

Since it is hard to "erase" a mark on an etching plate, Burchfield first did a series of drawings in violet indelible pencil as a sort of discipline for the etching process. Here are two of these drawings: "Under the Apple Tree" and "Evening in the Alley". (Did you notice the moon peeking through the trees in "Evening"?)

Nora Harrington Fletcher: Landscape Paintings

Books and Art by Nancy Patz