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Sh2-63 - a reflecting molecular cloud in the constellation Sagittarius

Short description:

Our image shows the molecular cloud Sharpless Sh2-63 (also LBN 86, MBM 158/159) of the object class "Integrated Flux Nebulae" of the galactic cirrus. These reflecting molecular clouds lie far from the galactic plane and are relatively rare and very faint.

Sharpless 63 seems to be a very rarely scientifically studied object, as there is almost no further information to be found on the internet. There is only a very vague hint that Sh2-63 is part of the so-called "Aquila Rift" and lies at a distance of about 700 to 800 light years from the solar system. Also, there are almost no pictures of it taken by amateurs on the internet. From its shape, it reminds us of an interstellar jellyfish.

The Aquila Rift

The so-called Aquila Rift is a region of sky in the constellations Aquila, Serpens Cauda and east of Ophiuchus that contains dark interstellar clouds and also molecular clouds. They represent a phase of the interstellar medium that is cold and dense enough for molecules to form, especially molecular hydrogen (H2).

These clouds are opaque to light in the optical part of the spectrum because interstellar dust grains are mixed with the gaseous components of the clouds. The Aquila Rift is a large star-forming region near the Sun. Observations with the Herschel space telescope show more than 200 proto-stellar objects.

We show three more inventive molecular clouds of the Integrated Flux Nebulae type here (MW 9), here (Sh2-33) and here (Sh2-36). There you will also find more information about this object class.

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