Sh2-129 The Flying Bat Nebula with
OU4 The Squid Nebula


Having successfully imaged the recently discovered Soap Bubble Nebula I thought I would try an even more recently discovered object, the Squid Nebula.

 Very faint but also very large on planet Earth's sky, a giant Squid Nebula cataloged as Ou4, and Sh2-129 also known as the Flying Bat Nebula, are both caught in this cosmic scene toward the constellation Cepheus.  This field of view is 4 degrees or 8 Full Moons across. Discovered in 2011 by French astro-imager Nicolas Outters, the Squid Nebula's alluring bipolar shape is distinguished here by the telltale blue-green emission from doubly ionized oxygen atoms. Though apparently completely surrounded by the reddish hydrogen emission region Sh2-129, the true distance and nature of the Squid Nebula have been difficult to determine. Still, a recent investigation suggests Ou4 really does lie within Sh2-129 some 2,300 light-years away. Consistent with that scenario, Ou4 would represent a spectacular outflow driven by HR8119, a triple system of hot, massive stars seen near the center of the nebula. The truly giant Squid Nebula would physically be nearly 50 light-years across.

This image was taken through a Canon f2.8 200mm lens with an Atik 460EX CCD camera using Astrodon 3nm Ha and OIII filters. It consists of 16 x 900s in each of the two filters (8 hours total)

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