LIVING CORAM DEO
Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Sh2-106 Nebula

Sidney_Hall_-_Urania's_Mirror_-_Lacerta,_Cygnus,_Lyra,_Vulpecula_and_AnserSh2-106‪ is an emission nebula and a star formation region in the constellation Cygnus (The Swan), an isolated area of the Milky Way. S106 was the 106th object to be catalogued by Sh2-106_mapastronomer Stewart Sharpless in the 1950s. It is an H II region estimated to be around 2,000 light-years from Earth, and spans about 2 light-years across. In the center of the nebula is a young and massive star that emits jets of hot gas and dust from its poles, squeezing the expanding nebula into its apparent hourglass or bipolar shape.

s106_subaruHubble’s view captures furious activity in the nebula, with ridges and ripples of super-hot gas mixing with the cooler interstellar medium. Responsible for this turbulence is the central star, a source of infrared radiation usually referred to as S106 IRS 4 (Infrared Source 4), approximately 15 solar masses. Two jets of matter, glowing blue, streaming from its poles heat surrounding matter to a temperature of around 10,000°C., with dusky red veins, not ionized by the star’s jets, surround the blue emission from the nebula. It is ejecting material at around 100 km/sec.‪ With an estimated surface temperature of 37,000°K, it is classified as a type O8 star.

Sharpless-2-1061Studies of images has revealed that the star-forming region has also created hundreds of low-mass brown dwarf stars‪ and protostars. At purely infrared wavelengths, more than 600 of these sub-stellar objects appear. These “failed” stars weigh less than a tenth of our Sun, and because of their low mass, they cannot produce sustained energy through nuclear fusion like our Sun does. They encompass the nebula in a small cluster.

Credit: NASA, Wikipedia.

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