Sunday, 13 November 2016

LMC nebula N11: Mega-bubble!

 NGC1760 to 1769 is a grouping sited NW of the LMC’s densest parts at 4h57m, -66°32’. Bino’s showed a featureless round glow at the site – but the 10in ‘scope told another story! N11dissected. The biggest single unit of N11 is N11B on the west side (Fig). It is a bean-shaped bright nebula ‘excited’ by some twenty O-type stars in chains, at least 10 are sketched. The stars of N11B are stellar assembly LH10.  N11C, the second brightest part of the complex, is round with a dark notch or two on its east side. I saw only two stars in this part, but research shows at least 10 O-types here. To the SW is N11E with two or more O stars: ‘deep’ images show six. To the northeast N11F completes the circle – a faint nebula with still more O-stars. The whole thing is 1100ly across, about 14 times the size of M42!