Best of AOP - Diffuse Nebulae

SH 106: Bipolar Star-forming Region

Sharpless 106 (SH106) is a distant star-forming region around 2000 light years away. This stellar nursery is only three light years across but contains many hundreds of stars that have just begun life. Many of the new stars have fierce stellar winds that blow this gas outward at speeds in excess of 200 kilometers per second. Thick clouds of gas and dust constrain this outflow in such a way that the winds blow freely along directions of less resistance- in this case in a bipolar way. Hi-resolution studies of this cloud in infrared wavelengths reveal the cluster of stars that are hidden from our view in this optical image. All of the activity taking place here began no more than 100,000 years ago. Eventually this small piece of sky towards Cygnus will add one more star cluster to the myriad already found in this direction.

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Last Updated: 12-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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Equipment

20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Two iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were applied to the luminance image.

Luminance = 70 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Eric Africa/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF