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Sh2-71 • Bipolar Planetary Nebula in HaOIIIRGB, 


            Douglas J Struble

Sh2-71 • Bipolar Planetary Nebula in HaOIIIRGB

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Explore Scientific ED165CF FPL-53

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-PRO

Mounts: Astro-Physics Mach 1 GTO

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 80mm Short Tube

Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Lodestar x2

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5.5  ·  PHD2  ·  Sequence Generator Pro  ·  PixInsight  ·  SkySafari Pro

Filters: Astronomik Deep-Sky G  ·  Astronomik Deep-Sky R  ·  Astronomik Deep-Sky B  ·  Astronomik Ha 6nm 1.25''  ·  Astrodon OIII 3nm

Accessory: ZWO 8x 1.25" Filter Wheel (EFW)  ·  QHYCCD PoleMaster  ·  Hotech 2" SCA Self-Centering Field Flattener  ·  MoonLite CFL 2.5" Large Format Focuser

Dates:July 23, 2020July 28, 2020Aug. 13, 2020Aug. 15, 2020Aug. 16, 2020

Astrodon OIII 3nm: 492x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Deep-Sky B: 45x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Deep-Sky G: 45x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Deep-Sky R: 45x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Ha 6nm 1.25'': 720x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 42.6 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~250

Avg. Moon age: 17.53 days

Avg. Moon phase: 25.55%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 8.00

Basic astrometry details job: 3774556

Resolution: 1678x1342

Locations: Backyard White Zone Observatory, Taylor, MI, Michigan, United States

Data source: Backyard


As most of you know, I love capturing Sharpless objects; especially planetary nebula. I tried my best to do this one justice. It is a bicolor palette of Ha and OIII with RGB stars.

This is a very unusual planetary nebula still under a lot of speculation. Initially it was perceived to be from a binary star system. Now there is evidence it may actually have been from a triple star system. David Jones at Cornell University in August of 2019 wrote a very interesting brief on Sh2-71.

Recent studies have indicated that triple star systems may play a role in the formation of an appreciable number of planetary nebulae, however only one triple central star is known to date (and that system is likely too wide to have had much influence on the evolution of its component stars). Here, we consider the possibility that Sh 2-71 was formed by a triple system which has since broken apart. We present the discovery of two regions of emission, seemingly aligned with the proposed tertiary orbit (i.e. in line with the axis formed by the two candidate central star systems previously considered in the literature). We also perform a few simple tests of the plausibility of the triple hypothesis based on the observed properties (coordinates, radial velocities, distances and proper motions) of the stars observed close to the projected centre of the nebula, adding further support through numerical integrations of binary orbits responding to mass loss. Although a number of open questions remain, we conclude that Sh 2-71 is currently one of the best candidates for planetary nebula formation influenced by triple-star interactions.



Douglas J Struble


Sh2-71 • Bipolar Planetary Nebula in HaOIIIRGB, 


            Douglas J Struble

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Sharpless2 Objects