Deneb and Sharpless 112, 115, and 116

In this HaRGB ( composite image, processed by +Nicolas Kizilian using his own data as well as data from the Digitized Sky Survey 2, you can see the blue-white supergiant star Deneb as well as the Sharpless 112, 115, and 116 nebulae.


Deneb (α Cygni, is the brightest star in the constellation of Cygnus (The Swan,, and located about 2,600 light-years away from Earth. It is a blue-white supergiant star (, and as such extremely massive and luminous, somewhere between 55,000 and 196,000 times as luminous as the Sun.


Also visible are from top to bottom are Sharpless 112, 115, and 116, three emission nebulae, one of which, Sh 2-116 (Abell 71), was once classified as a planetary nebula (, but is indeed an HII region emission nebula (Pismis, P., Hasse, I., & Quintero, A. (1991),

The glow of Sh 2-115 (the center nebula) is powered by the strong radiation of the young stars in the open star cluster Berkeley 90 (, which are still embedded in the nebula.

What is an emission nebula?

An emission nebula is a cloud of ionized gas (often by ultraviolet radiation from nearby stars) emitting light of various colors, in case of HII mostly reddish-pink (if viewed in natural colors). More information here:

What is an open cluster?

An open cluster is a group of up to a few thousand stars that have their origin in the same stellar nursery and are of roughly the same age. They are bound together by their gravitational forces. More information here:

Read more about the different types of nebulae here in this article I wrote for PhotographingSpace:

And in case you want to know more about colors in astrophotography, take a look here:

Image credit: Deneb et les 3 nébuleuses Sharpless 112,115,116 +Nicolas Kizilian Used with permission

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#science #astronomy #astrophotograpy #emissionnebula #space #photography #deneb #sh2115 #sh2116 #sh2112 #abell71
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