Emission Nebula

Sharpless 86

Sharpless 86 is a bright emission nebula in the constellation Cepheus, located approximately 2,100 light-years away from Earth.

Sh2-86 is an emission nebula in the Milky Way and has several designations:

  • Sharpless 86 (shortened to Sh2-86) – This designation comes from the Sharpless catalog, which is a list of HII regions (hydrogen emission areas) in the sky.
  • LBN 1014 – This is a designation from the Lynds Bright Nebula Catalogue, which is a collection of nebulae in the visible portion of the sky.
  • RCW 139 – This is a designation from the RCW catalog, which is another collection of emission nebulae in the Milky Way.

All of these designations refer to the same nebula, Sh2-86, which is located near the constellation Cepheus.

Position of the nebula

Sharpless 86 is located in the constellation of Cepheus in a region also known as the Cepheus Belt in the sky. Its precise coordinates are RA 22h 54m 12s and Dec +62° 38′ 13″. It is a part of the Milky Way and is located near the northern celestial hemisphere.

Unique facts

  • Sharpless 86 has a unique shape and structure that sets it apart from other emission nebulae. It has a clear elliptical shape with a central bubble and is surrounded by a halo of glowing gas and dust. Additionally, it contains a variety of young stars forming within it.
  • Another unique characteristic of Sharpless 86 is that it is a very high-energy nebula. It is ionized by the intense radiation from the young, massive stars within it and emits intense red light, making it a spectacular object for observation and photography.

Brightness and size

It is approximately 4,500 light-years away from Earth and has an estimated size of about 40 arcminutes in the sky.

In terms of brightness, Sh2-86 is a faint nebula and has a visual magnitude of about 13.5. This means that it cannot be seen with the naked eye and can only be observed with telescopes or other instruments.

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