Astrophoto of the month - August 2022 - Tangle of colors in Cepheus

Wonderful details of the Sharpless 132 nebula captured by Bence Tóth

A wonderful and special astrophotography image each month by Hungarian astrophotographers.

Insignificant nebulosity

The image shows a detail of the Sh2-132 nebula, which is located in the Cepheus constellation in the Milky Way, casting over our heads during summer and autumn nights. Also nicknamed the Lion Nebula, the faint luminous gas cloud is not very significant among similar objects, such as the famous Great Orion Nebula or the Rosette Nebula. Photographers are only now beginning to discover this otherwise heavily star-obscured area, and thanks to advanced techniques, the beauty of this lesser-known world is increasingly being revealed.

So what is going on here?

The so-called HII region in the middle, consisting of bright gases, is enkindled by super-strong ultraviolet radiation from the giant O spectrum star BD+55◦2722 and the Wolf-Rayet star, marked WR153ab, located around the center of the region. As a result of gravitational collapse, a forming new, young star cluster can already be observed in the ring-shaped molecular cloud surrounding WR153ab.

The new telescope

Bence Tóth used a new telescope to take this image. This picture was a kind of warm-up for the new system (250/1000 + EQ8) of the bigger, 25 cm diameter mirror, which is slowly but surely being completed... Unfortunately, the atmospheric calmness was not the best during these nights, so he believes the system has more in store. One night's worth of OIII (Oxygen 3) filtered raw material was taken with the 20 cm telescope during the observation weekend of the Hungarian Astrophotographers' Association in Törökkoppány, the rest (Hydrogen-alpha and SII) with the new 25 cm telescope from home.