Click on image for larger version.

Sharpless 106 (SH106) is a distant starforming region around 2,000 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 infra-red 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.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = 70 minutes binned 1x1
Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2
Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2
Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

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

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

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    Updated: 10/07/2004