Photo # 1 (Oct 2010)
THE SNAIL NEBULA
...suddenly I saw
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
- Pablo Neruda
Credit & Copyright: Star Shadows Remote Observatory
We have called this the "Snail" nebula for obvious reasons, though its formal identity is "SFO 69." The area contains not only HII clouds and several emission fronts but also a nice blue reflection nebula. Of special interest is the "head" of the snail that appears to us to display EGGs (Evaporating Gaseous Globules) which are postulated to be a site of star formation. These EGGs are dense regions of molecular hydrogen that fragment and collapse during star formation. As star formation procedes more of the "head" will evaporate and collapse down to reveal additional EGGs.
As with our inner life, the shadows among the shining lights in our heavens often reveal images that stir our imagination.
- Dan Benor, MD