The Wizard Nebula

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Obj Type
Date Taken:
Sh2 142
Mayhill, NM

This  is an HII emission region, aka the Wizard, that is entwined with the star cluster NGC 7380 found in the constellation Cepheus.  This area contains about 4000 solar masses of gas and is ionised by the eclipsing binary star DH Cephei (O6+O6).  It is associated with a molecular cloud containing an additional 6-15 thousand solar masses of gas, and the star cluster NGC 7382, which are all part of the Cep OB1 association.   The distance to this is about 7200 light years.

Note the bright star (at the upper right) that appears surrounded by a transparent bluish bubble of gas.  A Wolf-Rayet star with its fierce stellar winds may be responsible for 'blowing' this bubble into the surrounding ionized gas.

We've imaged this object at SSRO a couple times before.  Lewis's Ha image is shown here.  We also generated an LRGB image as shown here.  Now we have an HaRGB.  It's probably time to combine all of these and generate an HaLRGB with all the data -- an undertaking for later!

I've also processed the WISE IR data for this area.  A two frame WISE mosaic of the area is shown below.  The Wizard is the bright nebula at the upper middle.

If you visit this location (warning large file), you will see an animation of a fade from the visible light image of this area to the IR view and then back to the visible image.


Technical Details
Exposure Time:
3 hrs Ha, 2hrs each RGB
RCOS 16 inch f/8.7 Ritchey-Chretien
Software Bisque Paramount ME
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