The central star of Sharpless 2-188 is 850 light years away and it is
travelling at 125 kilometres per second across the sky. Observations show a
strong brightening in the direction in which the star is moving and faint
material stretching away in the opposite direction. The astronomers believe that
the bright structures in the arc observed ahead of Sharpless 2-188 are the
bowshock instabilities revealed in the simulations, which will form
whirlpools as they spiral past the star downstream to the tail. This image was obtained as part of the INT/WFC Photometric Hydrogen-Alpha Survey of the Northern Galactic Plane (IPHAS)
Credit: Nick Wright (UCL) and the IPHAS collaboration.
Telescope: 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope.
Instrument: Wide Field Camera.
Filters and exposure times: Hα and R.
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