the LDN 988 region
the LDN 988 region Back to Index Page Previous Image Next Image
Associated with an enormous dusty region of the northern sky known as the Cygnus OB7 Complex, Lynd's Dark Nebula #988 is a virtual hotbed for star-formation. There are so many pre-main sequence objects and collimated outflows of material in this spot, that it was referred to as the "pincushion cloud" in a 1986 journal entry! Contained within the above image are several molecular cloud cores that appear to be collapsing, forming newborn stars in the process. Though most of the action is hidden from our direct view by a thick veil of dark interstellar dust, infrared and radio observations reveal an area of great turbulence as a number of young stellar objects continually accumulate material from their prenatal clouds. Several of the youngsters, however, have already managed to gather enough mass to ignite hydrogen within their cores, allowing them to produce strong stellar winds. Such swift winds along with the radiative pressure from the star's fiery surface combine to literally clear out much of the remaining dust belonging to the cloud from which the star was born, allowing us a glimpse inside this stellar factory. Many times during this "clearing" process, the brilliant light from the young stars is reflected by the dust grains of the remnant cloud thus producing reflection nebulae. Sometimes, however, such nebulae appear to illuminate rather bizarre features in the surrounding material, as is the case for several of the brighter objects in the image above. The circumstellar ring around the young variable star V1331 Cygni located just left of center is a fine example of such, as well as the conspicuous nebula DG 170 associated with the adolescent star V1982 Cygni just to the right of center. Several other reflection nebulae of the more traditional bluish coloration include the larger DG 169 (located at center) and DG 171 (located to upper right of center). A crop from my original image can be found by clicking here for those wanting a closer look at these objects in particular. Other noteable features include the interesting ring-like feature GN 21.00.7 found embedded within the upper part of the dark cloud and the ruddy compact HII region Sharpless 2-120 (a background object) also located near the top of this image. Image taken with homemade 8-inch f/5.4 astrograph and SBIG STL-11000M. LRGB image composed of 180 minutes of L and 60 minutes each R,G,B. Be sure to click on the above image for the high resolution version.