Friday, December 8, 2023

Explore Sh2-119: An Emission Nebula in Cygnus Constellation

2:30 PM | ,

Explore Sh2-119: An Emission Nebula in Cygnus Constellation

Welcome to another enriching exploration brought to you by the team at Today, we delve deep into the cosmos, focusing on a fascinating celestial object – Sharpless 2-119, an emission nebula in the Cygnus constellation. 

The Intricate Nature of Sharpless 2-119 

Sharpless 2-119, often referred to as Sh2-119 or LBN 391, is a vividly bright emission nebula. It resides approximately 2,200 light-years away from us, nestled within the Cygnus constellation.

The Distinctive Morphology of Sh2-119

Upon close observation, the nebula exhibits an ellipsoid morphology, intriguingly encompassing an O7.5IIIn-type star termed as 68 Cygni. This star is rather massive, weighing in at 26 solar masses, and flaunts a temperature of a scorching 34,000 Kelvin.

Optical Insights Into Sh2-119 

Optical imagery has disclosed the existence of dual similar shells situated to the east and west of 68 Cygni. The eastern component seems to be the larger of the two. The nebula’s southern region also boasts thin, dark filaments laden with dust.

Understanding the Origins of Sh2-119 

The initial hypothesis suggested that Sh2-119 was a byproduct of the stellar wind emanating from 68 Cygni. However, recent astronomical research indicates that Sh2-119 is, in fact, a Stromgren sphere, implying the ionization source of the nebula is 68 Cygni.

A Glimpse of Sh2-119 

Our team at is delighted to share a composite optical image of Sh2-119. This image, captured using a small amateur telescope, utilizes narrow-band filters centralized on the emissions of ionized oxygen ([O III], blue), ionized hydrogen (Hα, red), and ionized sulfur ([S II], red).

Image Credit: Erik Coles

Let this image inspire your curiosity as you further delve into the wonders of our cosmos. Remember, the universe is always ready to reveal its secrets when you look up and ask the right questions.

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