"Wizard Nebula" (Sharpless 2-142) and NGC 7380

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The 'Wizard Nebula' (Sharpless 2-142) and star cluster NGC7380 lie within the borders of the constellation Cepheus. The nebula is dominated by hydrogen emission, with only a slight signal from oxygen and sulfer. Located within the nebula is a young open star cluster designated NGC 7380, estimated to be only 2-4 million years old. Distance estimates of the complex range from 1.43 kpc to 3.6 kpc (~4700 - 11,800 light years). The star cluster is not prominent in the image here, but lies approximately in the cyan-colored region below. The star DH Cephei (HD215835) is the principle stellar source that is responsible for exciting the hydrogen in the nebula.

  Optics:Stellarvue SVQ-100 
Camera:Starlight Xpress SX-46  
Exposure info:20 x 20 minute subs / filter 
Filters used:Astrodon H-alpha, OIII, SII 
Date:October 2020 
Color mapping:SII = Red / Halpha = Green / OIII = Blue + selective color adjustments 

The image above was taken through narrowband filters--filters that allow only a thin band of light at very specific wavelengths to pass through to the digital camera. Three filters were used in the above image: H-alpha (hydrogen, 656 nm), OIII (doubly ionized oxygen, 500 nm) and SII (singly ionized sulfer, 671/673 nm). The resulting image from each filter is then assigned a color channel to make the final, color image. While the color pallete is somewhat arbitrary, chosen for aesthetic reasons--the colors here are what is commonly called the "modified Hubble pallete" (red = SII; green = Halpha; blue = OIII).


1. Chen, Pandey, Sharma, Chen, Chen, Sperauskas, Ogura, Chuang and Boyle, "A Kinematic and Photometric Study of the Galactic Young Star Cluster NGC 7380." The Astronomical Journal, September 2011

2. Chavarria, Moreno-Corral, Hernandez-Toledo, Terranegra and Lara, "H-alpha Interferometric, Optical and Near IR Photometric Studies of Star Forming Regions, II. The NGC7380E/Sh2-142/NGC7380 Complex." Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1994