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PICTURE OF THE DAY

Sh 2–73 lies in the constellation Hercules and is a molecular cloud.

Sharpless 2–73

Sh 2–73 lies in the constellation Hercules and was mistakenly included in the Sharpless catalog as an emission nebula. It has no association with the nearby hot star, however, which does not ionize the nebula’s gas. We now know that Sh 2–73 is simply a molecular cloud. With its relatively high galactic latitude, about 45°, the integrated light of the Milky Way illuminates the nebula. So, astronomers currently refer to Sh2-73 as part of the integrated flux nebula. (4-inch Takahashi FSQ-106ED refractor at f/5, SBIG STF-8300M CCD camera, LRGB image with exposures of 585, 330, 315 and 435 minutes, respectively)

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