January 2023 - Picture of the Month
Strottner-Drechsler Object 30 in Eridanus
This image caught my attention whilst I was browsing Peter Goodhew's website for a couple of reasons: firstly, it's a beautiful object and a striking image; but decisively, it's a recent discovery (2020) of an object that's at the limit of our knowledge.
There's an integrated imaging time of over 53 hours here, so this isn't an easy object to image. There's a combination of H-α (blue) and SII (red) in the colours of this image, and plenty of structure that's reminiscent of a planetary nebula. However, despite long exposures, there's no sign of an OIII, which is strange.
In addition, with all this ionised gas there's no sign of the star that you'd expect to be responsible. Even a spectrum has failed to determine the nature of this object, so for now it remains a mystery.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.