Despite its appearance, this is not a planetary nebula, but a bipolar nebula embedded in a giant molecular cloud and star formation region ionised by an O8 star, Sh 2-106 IR
. Avedisova catalogs this region as SFR 76.38-0.61
, with 49 distinct components, including 4 masers.
You can see a radio image of Sh 2-106 here
, and a spectacular optical/infrared composite image
This MSX infrared image
shows that Sh 2-106 is embedded in the tip of a much larger pillar of gas and dust.
Sh 2-106 may be part of the Cygnus X complex at 1700 parsecs and hence more massive than usually believed.[1
This is a giant molecular cloud ionised by an O8 star, S106IR.[2
SIMBAD gives an O9.5 class for SH 2-106 IR and notes that it is associated with an infrared star cluster, [BDB2003] G076.37-00.61
1. ^ Schneider, N., Simon, R., Bontemps, S., et al. (2007). "A multiwavelength
study of the S106 region. III. The S106 molecular cloud as part of the
Cygnus X cloud complex", Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 474, 873-882.
2. ^ van den Ancker, M. E., Tielens, A. G. G. M., & Wesselius, P. R. (2000).
"ISO Spectroscopy of the young bipolar nebulae S106 IR and Cep A East",
Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 358, 1035-1048. [2000A&A...358.1035V]