Enchanted Skies


Two Large Emission Nebulae in Serpens Cauda- Sh2-54 and M16

Emission Nebulae Sh2-54 and M16 Position of Nebulae shown in image.


Object Information                                            Imaging Details

Sh2-54 and it's much brighter partner, M16 are two HII regions located in the Summer Milky Way in the constellation Serpens Cauda. Numerous young hot O and B class stars including those in NGC 6604, 6625 and 6611 illuminate these two gaseous regions. The small bright 'egg' in the mid-upper right region is also known as Gum 85. These nebula are estimated to be 6,000-7,000 light-years distant.

The image was acquired at the 2016 Texas Star Party near Fort Davis, Texas. Color data was obtained using a modified Canon T2i and a 300mm lens. Ha data was obtained using an Atik 460 with a 200mm Canon f/2.4 lens.

The nebula was imaged during the 2016 Texas Star Party. Skies were dark and transparency was very good.

The map on the upper right shows the position of the nebula to scale. Clicking the preview image (above) will bring up a larger, higher resolution image.


Canon 300mm f/4 lens and 200mm f/2.8 lens

Canon T2i @ 300mm (color); Atik 460 @ 200mm (Ha)
2" Baader Ha filter
Misc. Optics:

Canon - 4-minute subs @ iso 1600; Atik - 10-minute (-10°) subs.

Using PhD guiding software with an Orion ED-80 and Lodestar X2.
Images aligned and stacked in Nebulosity. Curves/levels and sharpening with Photoshop CS5.

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Enchanted Skies - Astrophotography by Rich Richins (all images copyright, Rich Richins)