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Sh2-106 (Emission Nebula)


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Sh2-106
Emission Nebula (散光星雲)

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別名 (Other names)

S106, Sharpless 2-106, Sharpless 106, Sh 2-106

星座 (Constellation)
はくちょう座 (Cyg) (Cygnus)

距離 (Distance)
2,000光年 (2,000 light-years)

Sh2-106 is an emission nebula located 2,000 light years from the Earth in the constellation Cygnus.

Sh2-106 (Emission Nebula) : Picture

Sh2-106
Star-Forming Region S106
(C) NASA/ESA

Sh2-106
Star-Forming Region S106
(C) NASA/ESA
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope presents a festive holiday greeting that's out of this world. The bipolar star-forming region, called Sharpless 2-106, looks like a soaring, celestial snow angel. The outstretched "wings" of the nebula record the contrasting imprint of heat and motion against the backdrop of a colder medium.

Sharpless 2-106, Sh2-106 or S106 for short, lies nearly 2,000 light-years from us. The nebula measures several light-years in length. It appears in a relatively isolated region of the Milky Way galaxy.

A massive, young star, IRS 4 (Infrared Source 4), is responsible for the furious activity we see in the nebula. Twin lobes of super-hot gas, glowing blue in this image, stretch outward from the central star. This hot gas creates the "wings" of our angel.

A ring of dust and gas orbiting the star acts like a belt, cinching the expanding nebula into an "hourglass" shape. Hubble's sharp resolution reveals ripples and ridges in the gas as it interacts with the cooler interstellar medium.

Dusky red veins surround the blue emission from the nebula. The faint light emanating from the central star reflects off of tiny dust particles. This illuminates the environment around the star, showing darker filaments of dust winding beneath the blue lobes.

Detailed studies of the nebula have also uncovered several hundred brown dwarfs. At purely infrared wavelengths, more than 600 of these sub-stellar objects appear. These "failed" stars weigh less than a tenth of our Sun. 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.

Star Forming Region S106
Star Forming Region S106
(C) GRANTECAN and IAC
Massive star IRS 4 is beginning to spread its wings. Born only about 100,000 years ago, material streaming out from this newborn star has formed the nebula dubbed Sharpless 2-106 Nebula (S106), pictured above. A large disk of dust and gas orbiting Infrared Source 4 (IRS 4), visible in dark red near the image center, gives the nebula an hourglass or butterfly shape. S106 gas near IRS 4 acts as an emission nebula as it emits light after being ionized, while dust far from IRS 4 reflects light from the central star and so acts as a reflection nebula. Detailed inspection of images like the above image has revealed hundreds of low-mass brown dwarf stars lurking in the nebula's gas. S106 spans about 2 light-years and lies about 2,000 light-years away toward the constellation Cygnus.

Star Forming Region S106
Star Forming Region S106
(C) CISCO, Subaru 8.3-m Telescope, NAOJ

Star-Forming Region S106 Star-Forming Region S106
Star-Forming Region S106
(C) NASA/ESA
Star-Forming Region S106
(C) NASA/ESA
Star Forming Region S106 Star Forming Region S106
Star Forming Region S106
(C) GRANTECAN and IAC
Star Forming Region S106
(C) CISCO, Subaru 8.3-m Telescope, NAOJ
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Sh2-106 (Emission Nebula) : Movie

Hubblecast 51: Star-forming region S 106
In this episode of the Hubblecast, we take a tour of the compact star-forming region Sh 2-106. Its hourglass shape is caused by the final, violent phases of a star's formation in the middle of the gaseous nebula. This episode explains some of the science behind Hubble's observations and brings them to life with detailed 3D computer visualisations.
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