Sh2-101 – Tulip Nebula & Cygnus X-1

Sh2-101

Tulip Nebula & Cygnus X-1

One of the strongest X-ray sources in Earth's sky

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Framing a bright emission region, this telescopic view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula, the glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. About 8,000 light-years distant and 70 light-years across the complex and beautiful nebula blossoms at the center of this composite image. Ultraviolet radiation from young energetic stars at the edge of the Cygnus OB3 association, including O star HDE 227018, ionizes the atoms and powers the emission from the Tulip Nebula. HDE 227018 is the bright star near the center of the nebula. Also framed in the field of view is microquasar Cygnus X-1, one of the strongest X-ray sources in planet Earth’s sky. Driven by powerful jets from a black hole accretion disk, its fainter visible curved shock front lies above and right, just beyond the cosmic Tulip’s petals.

The Tulip Nebula in Cygnus

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Technical card

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ObjectSh2-101 / Cygnus X-1
Imaging telescopeCelestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph 8″
Imaging cameraZWO ASI 1600MM PRO
Mount iOptron CEM60
GuidingGuidescope 240mm, ZWO ASI 120MM
FilterBaader f/2 Highspeed H-Alpha, Baader f/2 Highspeed OIII, Baader f/2 Highspeed SII (each 2″), Baader R, G, B (2″)
AccessoriesStarizona Filter Slider,  Celestron Focus Motor for SCT
Integration26.7 hours, H-Alpha: 166×180″, OIII: 236×120″, SII: 170×180″, Red/Green/Blue each: 80×30″
Dates of recording6 nights in June / July 2020
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