Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
SH2-261, or Lower's Nebula, is a Hydrogen Alpha emission Nebula located in the upper area of Orion, near the Gemini constellation. The nebula covers about the same apparent area in the sky as a full Moon. It is named the Lower's nebula because it appears on a photographic plate taken by the father-and-son team of Harold and Charles Lower in 1939, both were amateur astronomers. Lower's is a cloud of hydrogen that is producing new stars at its core about 3000 light years distant in the constellation Orion.
The bright blue star in the upper left corner of the photo is 69 Ori, a +4.96 magnitude blue-white main sequence star with a diameter about four times larger than our sun. It is located about 530 light-years from Earth.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors