The Seagull nebula, IC 2177, Sharpless 2-292 or Gum 1

eso1237c
Image credit: ESO 2.2m/WFI

Nebulae like this one tend to have various names, as they get listed over the years in many catalogues:

This object has received many other names through the years — it is known as Sh 2-292, RCW 2 and Gum 1. The name Sh 2-292 means that the object is number 292 in the second Sharpless catalogue of HII regions, published in 1959. The RCW number refers to the catalogue compiled by Rodgers, Campbell and Whiteoak and published in 1960. This object was also the first in an earlier list of southern nebulae compiled by Colin Gum, and published in 1955.

The complex of gas and dust that forms the head of the seagull glows brightly in the sky due to the strong ultraviolet radiation coming mostly from one brilliant young star HD 53367, which has twenty times the mass of our Sun. It is classified as a Be star, which are a type of B star with prominent hydrogen emission lines in its spectrum. This star has a five solar mass companion in a highly elliptical orbit.

In other news today, astronomers at the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory are contributing to planet-finding via the radial velocity method. In a paper accepted to the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, three new exoplanets around giant stars are identified, including one with a near-record eccentricity e = 0.66. The planet has a minimum mass of 4.5 Jupiter masses and orbits the G7 giant HD 120084 with a period of 2082 days. The paper [pdf] is “Planetary Companions to Three Evolved Intermediate-Mass Stars: HD 2952, HD 120084, and οmicron Serpentis”, arXiv preprint.

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One Response to “The Seagull nebula, IC 2177, Sharpless 2-292 or Gum 1”

  1. This Nebula is really beautiful…! 🙂

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