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Image of the day 12/02/2023

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The Phantom Stinger Nebula: A New Discovery in Scorpius, Steeve Body
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The Phantom Stinger Nebula: A New Discovery in Scorpius

Image of the day 12/02/2023

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
The Phantom Stinger Nebula: A New Discovery in Scorpius, Steeve Body
Powered byPixInsight

The Phantom Stinger Nebula: A New Discovery in Scorpius



Acquisition details



####Update on the Phantom Stinger Nebula Discovery by NHZ (New Horizon) Team!####

We are excited to announce that the Phantom Stinger Nebula, identified within the Scorpius constellation, has been confirmed as a new astronomical discovery. This follows an in-depth review of the Dong study (Please refer to our previous description further below for more detail), which, while not mentioning the Phantom Stinger Nebula directly, offers relevant insights into early-type emission-line stars, particularly Herbig Ae/Be stars, that are crucial to understanding our discovery

Key Findings from the Dong Study: Catalogue of Early-Type Emission-Line Stars: The study provides a detailed catalogue of these stars, emphasising their categorisation as extreme Population I objects. This catalogue is significant as it may include stars similar to the Herbig Ae/Be star at the heart of the Phantom Stinger Nebula.

Infrared Excess and Two-Colour Diagrams: Dong's research focuses on the infrared excess properties of these stars and their representation on two-colour diagrams. This approach is pertinent to our discovery, as the Phantom Stinger Nebula exhibits strong OIII emissions.

Emphasis on Herbig Ae/Be Stars: Given that a Herbig Ae/Be star is central to the Phantom Stinger Nebula, the study's insights into the characteristics and evolution of such stars are invaluable for further understanding our nebula.

Spatial Distribution Analysis: The study’s analysis of the spatial distribution of these stars in relation to the galactic plane and spiral arms offers a framework to comprehend the positioning and potentially the formation process of the Phantom Stinger Nebula.

Recognition of the Need for Further Research: The study underscores the necessity for ongoing observations to elucidate the nature and evolution of these stars, resonating with our commitment to continuing research on the Phantom Stinger Nebula.In conclusion, the Dong study enhances our understanding of the type of stars present in the Phantom Stinger Nebula and supports the confirmation of this nebula as a new and significant astronomical finding. We continue to welcome collaborative insights and further research to fully unravel the mysteries of the Phantom Stinger Nebula.

Further Research on the Nebula Origin

Our ongoing investigation into the nebula's origins has been further informed by detailed spectral analysis of the Herbig Ae/Be Star CD-38 11837 (MWC 878/Hen 3-1398). This star exhibits a complex spectrum rich in emission lines, indicative of significant gas motions in its vicinity, likely due to a circumstellar disk or outflows. Notably, the spectrum includes hydrogen Balmer and Paschen lines, Ca II lines, as well as various lines from helium, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and argon.

This extensive emission-line spectrum is characteristic of a B1Ve type star, as determined by the presence and absence of specific lines, particularly around helium. The classification as a B1Ve star, which is a B-type star with emission lines, highlights its youthful and dynamic nature. Such stars are known to significantly influence their surrounding environments, making MWC 878 a prime candidate for contributing to the nebula's formation and structure.

The estimated distance of MWC 878, approximately 6188 light years away based on its parallax measurement, aligns with the common distances of many nebulae within our galaxy, further supporting the likelihood of its association with the nearby nebula.

The star's location, at celestial coordinates RA 17 24 44.708, Dec -38 43 51.47, is depicted in the accompanying image. The image provides a visual context for the star's position relative to the surrounding nebular material, offering insights into the potential interaction between the star and the nebula.

This spectral information enriches our understanding of MWC 878's role in the nebula's genesis and morphology. However, it's crucial to note that while the spectral data provides strong evidence for the star's energetic activities and possible influence on the nebula, direct observational evidence of the interaction would be invaluable in confirming this hypothesis.


and in SIMBAD

Screenshot 2023-11-28 at 10.39.31 pm.png

######## Original Description Below#########

Potential New Discovery in Scorpius: The Phantom Stinger Nebula

Our astrophotography team NHZ (New Horizon) is thrilled to share the intriguing details of what could be a new discovery. Nestled within the constellation of Scorpius, we have identified a structure, which we've tentatively named the "Phantom Stinger Nebula" due to its shape, location, and very faint nature. As part of this project I was tasked with capturing and processing the data near these coordinates given to me by team leader Tim Schaeffer. We were hoping to find a SNR at the original coordinates but it turns out that I noticed a strange patch of Oiii slightly outside the field of view instead. After reframing the target this is what we have unveiled.

Morphology and Origins:

This nebula reveals its form predominantly in the OIII emission. At the heart of the Phantom Stinger Nebula lies a Herbig Ae/Be star, known for being a young, massive star often associated with reflection nebulae. It is encapsulated in a circular OIII nebula, which doesn't align with the typical characteristics of a Wolf-Rayet (WR) star normally associated with this type of emission nebula, instead showing a closer match to the spectrum of an Ae/Be star. The origin of this object so far remain a mystery but the presence of this Herbig Ae/Be star could be linked to it presence.
Unveiling the Mystery:

What makes the Phantom Stinger Nebula particularly fascinating is the absence of any documented nebulae in its vicinity, according to our searches in the SIMBAD, HASH and all other public databases. We have reached out to a professional astrophysicist to cross-check our observation, and it seems that this star, along with its nebula, may be referenced (as per the "YDoH" notation) in a study, 'Dong+H 1991,' which seems to be published in an obscure Chinese journal that is hidden behind a paywall. This restriction has made it difficult for us to verify the catalogue's information or to confirm if it matches with our current observations. Furthermore, we could not find any optical images of this object and we are pretty certain that this may potentially be a new discovery or at the very least the first publicly published colour image of this object. Despite this hurdle, our team is committed to uncovering as much as possible about the Phantom Stinger Nebula and continues to seek alternative resources and expert insights.

Seeking Collaborative Insights:

If you do have any information about this object or may have access to the Dong+H 1991 study, we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to us so we can update this discovery with the most up-to-date information.

Find below a GIF animation of the OIII structure alongside the Hα emission and RGB stars:

And here is the starless inverted image of the Oiii structure after continuum subtraction: