Sh2-101 Tulip Nebula HST


Chris Heapy

Macclesfield, UK

Scope: Televue NP127is refractor
CCD: Atik490EX
Mount: Losmandy G11
Guide: TV Pronto + Lodestar
Filters: Astrodon 3nM Ha, SII and OIII

Image is a composite of 22 x 1200s subs for a total of 7.3hrs exposure. All image data aquired from my back garden in Macclesfield, UK.

Located right in the heart of the constellation of Cygnus the Swan lies this small active HII region. It is about 6000 lightyears distant from us and it’s shape is reminiscent of a Tulip in bloom, and hence the popular name ‘Tulip Nebula’. Although I did not conciously intend to include it the image also shows (top-centre) a faint blue arc which apparently is the shock front from a relativistic jet emanating from the putative Black Hole Cygnus X-1. The jet is a result of material falling into the black hole and some of it being accelerated and spat out at high speed, the shock front is caused by this high velocity material impacting the surrounding gas and dust.