The Shark Nebula
Published 10 Dec 2021

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Full image field here: Full resolution 50%resolution

About this object

The Shark nebula is a faint cloud of interstellar gas and dust in the constellation Cepheus. The above image spans about two thirds of its actual length of about 15 light years. Within this dust cloud are several other objects. The darker dusty area to the top left is LDN 1235, the densest part of this dust cloud. The bright blue reflection nebula on the top of the image is VdB 150 and the bottom blue reflection nebula is VdB 149. Both this beautiful reflection nebula shine with the color of very hot B8IV stars within these parts of the nebula. This dusty cloud is approximately 650 light years distant. A small galaxy, PGC 67671, is in the upper right edge of the image. PGC 67671 is much farther distant at close to 58 million light years. I've included a annotated image highlighting these objects.

The image was taken under very dark Bortle 1 skies at the 2021 Okie Tex Star Party in Kenton, Oklahoma in Oct 2021. The image was acquired using Voyager automation software and processed with PixInsight along with a few tweaks using Photoshop.
Image Details

  • Optics : Stellarvue SVX 152T refractor @f8 1200mm FL
  • Mount: Paramount MYT
  • Camera: ZWO ASI6200
  • Filters: Chroma 50mm LRGB
  • Exposure (min): LRGB 435:185:190:195 16.8hrs, 2x2 binning
  • Automation Control: The Sky X, Voyager, PrimaluceLab Eagle 4
  • Guiding: StarlightXpress Lodestar X2
  • Processing Software: PixInsight, PS CC
  • Location: Okie Tex Star Party, Kenton Oklahoma
  • Sky: Typical SQM 21.8-22, Bortle 1, Dark
  • Date: 2-7 Oct 2021
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