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IC 4701, Messier 17, Messier 18 and NGC 6596 - Star formation in the constellation Sagittarius

Short objekt description:

The large red emission nebula IC 4701 is also catalogued as LBN 56 and Sharpless 44. Together with Messier 17, the Omega Nebula (included here), IC 4703 (Messier 16) and NGC 6604, the complete region is catalogued as Sharpless 2-54.

The open star cluster NGC 6596 and the reflection nebula vdB 120 can also be seen in our image. The reflection nebula vdB 120 is illuminated by the bright blue star HD 167 746. The strong H-II emission in this region overlays the normal blue hue of the reflection nebula - but its structure is still quite visible.

Messier 18 (NGC 6613) is a small, with about 30 million years quite young open star cluster, which is assigned to class II 3 p n according to Trumpler. The numerous bright, blue giant stars are so hot that they shine predominantly in blue light and near ultraviolet light. The stars are embedded in a reflection nebula. M 18 is about 4600 light years from the Sun and was discovered by Charles Messier on 3 June 1764.

NGC 6596 - also an open star cluster - is considerably older than M18. According to Trumpler, it is assigned to class III 2 m n. The distance to the solar system is about 3600 light years. The star cluster was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel on 27 June 1786.

We provide a detailed object description of the Omega Nebula, Messier 17 here
We show a large mosaic of the entire region Sh 2-54 here.

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