June: Shell Nebula
Shell Nebula (sh2-119) is a large emission nebula in the constellation of the Swan, located 2,200 light years away and occupying a portion of the sky equivalent to about 16 full moons. The star at its centre is 68 Cygni, a 5th magnitude star, which is responsible for ionising the surrounding gas. Some Bok globules are also visible to the south of the star (dark clouds of gas and dust that are condensing and could give rise to new stars in the future). Even further down and to the right, we can see the open cluster NGC 7044, which is estimated to be about 2 billion years old.
Author: Daniel López / IAC (Astrograph STC - UC3)