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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 9:20 EDT
Hourglass-shaped Nebula Sharpless 2-106
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Hourglass-shaped Nebula Sharpless 2-106

February 8, 2011
An optical image of the hourglass-shaped nebula Sharpless 2-106, taken using the Gemini North Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Sharpless 2-106 (Sh2-106), an hourglass-shaped (bipolar) nebula, is a stellar nursery made up of glowing gas and light-scattering dust. The material shrouds a natal high-mass star thought to be mostly responsible for the hourglass shape of the nebula due to high-speed winds (more than 200 kilometers/second), which eject material from the forming star deep within.