D. Heilman Astrophotography

SH2-261 - Lower's Nebula

Amateur astronomers Harold Lower and his son Charles captured this nebula on a photographic plate in 1939 using personally crafted equipment and an 8-inch Schmidt camera (f/1) of their own design (published in 1939).  Lower's Nebula (SH2-261) as it is now called, is positioned in the constellation of orion and is rich with ionized hydrogen, (red), sulfer (yellow), and oxygen (blue).  The bottom area of the nebula features many glowing filaments and bok globules which likely are sites of active star formation.  There is an intersting oxygen-rich feature in the core of the nebula that remains uncharacterized but appears to surround the O-type star (O7.5V star HD 41997) that is credited for irradiation and illumination of the nebula.