I Couldn’t Resist

I’m very busy and more than a little sleep deprived, but I have to share this with you:  I knew when I saw the first Hydrogen-alpha frame that this was going to be an interesting image, so after completing the capture Tuesday night, I processed it – and was even more pleased with the final image than expected.

The object is another from the Sharpless catalog, Sh2-132.  Like many of the objects in the Sharpless catalog, it doesn’t have a common name, but I’m going to call it “The Ghost Rider Nebula”.  Do you see it?  The large arc in the lower left is the front wheel of the motorcycle.  Above that, in purple, is the Rider’s mask, with horns.  A ghostly hand grips the handlebar to the right of the wheel, and if you look carefully, you can see his left leg, sharply bent at the hip and knee, stretching out to the rear, where flames and dust are thrown from the rear of the bike.

Now you’ll never be able to look at this nebula without seeing The Ghost Rider!

The oxygen and sulfur channels in this nebula are extremely dim, just as they were in Sh2-170.  With 4 hours of exposure for each channel (12 total), I could barely see anything in the OIII and SII images, but it is enough to create some variation in the colors, while the H-alpha channel provides all the ghostly details.


About Greg Marshall

I am a retired electronics engineer and after a few months of enjoying my leisure I began to miss doing product development. My astronomy hobby always needed new solutions to unique problems, so I decided that whenever I came up with a good solution I would try to make it available to others.

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