Move your mouse over the image to locate Cygnus X-1.

(depending on which browser you are using, the "mouseover" feature may or may not work)

Emission Nebula Sh2-101 and Cygnus X-1
  • Back in 1962, a strong X-ray source was identified in Cygnus. The star labelled above with the mouseover (9th Mag. HDE 226868) was identified by Tom Bolton, using the 74 inch telescope at the David Dunlop Observatory in Toronto, as a black hole candidate and the source of the X-ray emissions. Cygnus X-1 is a binary system, with the black hole orbiting HDE 226868. It is believed to be between 7 and 13 solar masses with an orbital period of 5.6 days. More information on Cygnus X-1 can be found here or at Wikipedia. More on Tom Bolton's involvement is available here from the University of Toronto magazine.

    Of course, as a black hole has such strong gravity that light can't escape meaning that you can't actually see it. But the star that it orbits is visible, the pointer above shows that star. The nebula in this image is SH2-101, also known as the Tulip Nebula.

  • Camera: SBIG ST-8XE at -15C
  • Filter: Schuler 10nm Hydrogen Alpha
  • Scope: Takahashi FSQ-106N
  • Exposure: 2 x 30 minutes
  • Location: Mt. Kobau B.C.
  • Date: August 5, 2005
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