Daily Archives: July 18, 2014

Ou4: A Giant Squid Nebula 

Image Credit: Romano Corradi (IAC),
Nicolas Grosso, Agnès Acker, Robert Greimel, Patrick Guillout

 A mysterious, squid-like apparition, this nebula is very faint, but also very large in planet Earth’s sky. In the mosaic image, composed with narrowband data from the 2.5 meter Isaac Newton Telescope, it spans some 2.5 full moons toward the constellation Cepheus. Recently discovered by French astro-imager Nicolas Outters, the remarkable nebula’s bipolar shape and emission are consistent with it being a planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star, but its actual distance and origin are unknown. A new investigation suggests Ou4 really lies within the emission region SH2-129 some 2,300 light-years away. Consistent with that scenario, the cosmic squid would represent a spectacular outflow of material driven by a triple system of hot, massive stars, cataloged as HR8119, seen near the center of the nebula. If so, this truly giant squid nebula would physically be nearly 50 light-years across.

APOD NASA 18-Jul-14

Omega Nebula in Sagittarius

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The Omega Nebula, also known as the Swan NebulaCheckmark NebulaLobster Nebula, and the Horseshoe Nebula (catalogued as Messier 17 or M17 and as NGC 6618) is an H II region in the constellation Sagittarius. It was discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745. Charles Messier catalogued it in 1764. It is located in the rich starfields of the Sagittarius area of the Milky Way.
The Omega Nebula is between 5,000 and 6,000 light-years from Earth and it spans some 15 light-years in diameter. The cloud ofinterstellar matter of which this nebula is a part is roughly 40 light-years in diameter and has a mass of 30,000 solar masses. The total mass of the Omega Nebula is an estimated 800 solar masses.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: GSO Newton 12″ f/4
Imaging cameras: ATIK 11000m
Mounts: Skywatcher EQ8
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 50 mm mini guider
Guiding cameras: Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager & Autoguider
Focal reducers: ASA Wynne 3″ Corrector 0.95x
Software: photoshop, Startools 1.3.5, CCDStack, Maxim DL
Filters: Orion 2” LRGB filter set, Baader Ha 2″
Dates: June 6, 2014
Orion 2” LRGB filter set: 9×300″ -15C bin 2×2
Baader Ha 2″: 4×600″ -15C bin 1×1
Integration: 1.4 hours

Author: Paul Storey
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 18 July 2014