Bernes 149 in Scorpius
June 2021 - Picture of the Month
After last months galaxies I've returned to our own with an image of a particularly stiking reflection nebula. Striking because it's set against that band of dark nebula from which it's emerged thanks to those eye-searing stars near the centre of the image. What a composition.
This is the Lupus 3 dark cloud, one of several in a complex that is producing many of the new low mass stars in our vicinity, and home to the reflection nebula GN 16.05.2 which is illuminated by HR 5999, the lower of those two central stars. This pair of stars are an exception to the Young Stellar Objects (YSOs) typically found in the region. They're both Herbig Ae/Be stars: more massive than most and precursors of supergiant stars.
Both Lupus 3 and these stars have been the target for detailed imaging and measurement by professionals seeking to learn more about star formation, and the VLT resolved a circumstellar dusty disc around HR 5999 in the mid-infrared.
However on this occasion I've chosen Fabian's wonderful image because it's a reminder of how much fascinating structure there is in the night sky.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.