Sharpless 132 Nebula

In this image, taken by +Nicolas Kizilian using a William Optics Zenithstar 66 Telescope and a Moravian G2-8300 camera, you can see Sharpless 132 (Sh2-132, LBN 473) , an HII region type emission nebula in the constellation of Cepheus (, about 10,400 light-years away from Earth.

The nebula is ionized by a bunch of hot and massive stars with strong ultraviolet radiation, most notably the two Wolf-Rayet stars HD 211564 ( and HD 211853 (

The bubble-like structure you can see is most likely caused by stellar winds ( of massive stars.

Visible at the very right side center of the image is the small open cluster ( Berkeley 94. In the bottom left you can see the open cluster NGC 7235.

In the top right you can see a small red ring-like feature called Abell 79, most likely a planetary 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 a Wolf-Rayet star?

Wolf-Rayet stars are massive stars that have extremely high surface temperatures of 30,000 K to around 200,000 K. They are also very luminous, some of them several million times more luminous than our Sun, although much of their radiation output is in the ultraviolet part ( of the spectrum and not the visible part. They blast strong winds of particles out into space while burning up their fuel, lasting only a few hundred thousand years, a short life for a star. More information here:

What is a planetary nebula?

A planetary nebula is an emission nebula (, it is basically a shell of glowing ionized gas ejected from old red giant stars and driven by the ultraviolet radiation of the resulting young and hot white dwarf ( They are short-lived objects, lasting a few tens o
f thousands of years until the white dwarf has cooled down so much that its not putting out enough ultraviolet radiation anymore and the gas no longer gets ionized. More 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: Sharpless 132 +Nicolas Kizilian Used with permission

If you like this image, you can find Nicolas here on G+ (+Nicolas Kizilian), on Twitter ( and on Facebook ( and see more of his work here on his website:

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#science #astronomy #astrophotograpy #emissionnebula #space #photography #hiiregion #sharpless132 #sh2132 #wolfrayetstar #abell79 #ngc7235 #opencluster
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