IPHASX J194359.5+170901 is a new high-excitation planetary nebula with remarkable characteristics. It consists of a knotty ring expanding at a speed of 28 km s−1, and a fast collimated outflow in the form of faint lobes and caps along the direction perpendicular to the ring. The expansion speed of the polar caps is ∼100 km s−1, and their kinematical age is twice as large as the age of the ring.
Time-resolved photometry of the central star of IPHASX J194359.5+170901 reveals a sinusoidal modulation with a period of 1.16 d. This is interpreted as evidence for binarity of the central star, the brightness variations being related to the orbital motion of an irradiated companion. This is supported by the spectrum of the central star in the visible range, which appears to be dominated by emission from the irradiated zone, consisting of a warm (6000–7000 K) continuum, narrow C iii, C iv and N iii emission lines, and broader lines from a flat H i Balmer sequence in emission.
IPHASX J194359.5+170901 helps to clarify the role of (close) binaries in the formation and shaping of planetary nebulae (PNe). The output of the common-envelope (CE) evolution of the system is a strongly flattened circumstellar mass deposition, a feature that seems to be distinctive of this kind of binary system. Also, IPHASX J194359.5+170901 is among the first post-CE PNe for which the existence of a high-velocity polar outflow has been demonstrated. Its kinematical age might indicate that the polar outflow is formed before the CE phase. This points to mass transfer on to the secondary as the origin, but alternative explanations are also considered.