Hubble view of star-forming region S106
Hubble/Subaru composite of star-forming region S 106
Ground-based view of the area around star-forming region S 106
Hubblecast 51: Star-forming region S 106
Animation of S 106
Zooming in on S 106
Pan over S 106
Artist’s impression of S 106
Despite the celestial colours of this picture, there is nothing peaceful about star forming region Sh 2-106, or S106 for short. A devilish young star, named S106 IR, lies in it and ejects material at high speed, which disrupts the gas and dust around it. The star has a mass about 15 times that of the Sun and is in the final stages of its formation. It will soon quieten down by entering the main sequence, the adult stage of stellar life.
The young star also heats up the surrounding gas, making it reach temperatures of 10 000 degrees Celsius. The star’s radiation ionises the hydrogen lobes, making them glow. The light from this glowing gas is coloured blue in this image.
Separating these regions of glowing gas is a cooler, thick lane of dust, appearing red in the image. This dark material almost completely hides the ionising star from view, but the young object can still be seen peeking through the widest part of the dust lane.
S106 was the 106th object to be catalogued by the astronomer Stewart Sharpless in the 1950s. It is a few thousand light-years distant in the direction of Cygnus (The Swan). The cloud itself is relatively small by the standards of star-forming regions, around 2 light-years along its longest axis. This is about half the distance between the Sun and Proxima Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbour.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.
Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
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