I was taught that hydrogen merged with oxygen is a highly explosive mixture, and after the explosion, the water is the outcome. But nothing like this happens in the Wizard Nebula that surrounds the young open cluster NGC7380. The surrounding nebula spans an angle of 25 arc minutes, so it is similar in size to the apparent Moon diameter. But it is extremely difficult to observe visually. It requires both dark sky and some nebula filter (O-III filter works well). The nebula itself is known as Sh2-142 in the Sharpless catalog. This complex is located about 8,500 light-years away from us.

NGC7380 Wizard nebula narrowband and RGB
NGC7380 Wizard nebula narrowband and RGB

I collected subframes to this image in September last year and processed it also quite a long time ago. Although NGC7380 Wizard Nebula is quite difficult to catch visually, it is a magnificent target for astrophotographers. It looks well in widefield images, where it is floating among the stars. Even using a 100mm telephoto lens it still looks amazing, and the bonus is that neighboring emission nebulae can be also recorded. But if your imaging setup filed of view is smaller or very small, then Wizard may fill it completely and you can see all the detailed features of this nebula. Even if you have 2-meter focal length telescope and a small chip camera, there are still plenty of interesting fragments of the nebula, but you need to examine other images before and select the area of interest.

The image above is a composite of RGB subframes (stars come from those), and narrowband images recorded in hydrogen alpha and oxygen-iii bands. Seeing was good during those nights, so a decent amount of detail is visible across the nebula and NGC7380 star open cluster complex. Narrowband filters allow capturing nice images under the moderately light-polluted sky, but the target list for such filters is limited to emission nebulae only (planetary as well. but these are also emission).

The image below is hydrogen-alpha channel only.

NGC7380 Wizard nebula
NGC7380 Wizard nebula

Image technical data:

Date: 20-23 September, 2020
Location: Nieborowice, Poland
Telescope: Meade ACF 10"
Corrector: AP CCDT67
Camera: QHY163M, gain 100
Mount: SW EQ6
Guiding: Evostar 72 + ASI290MM
Exposure: Ha 200x2 minutes, Oiii 120x2 minutes, RGB 120 minutes
Conditions: Bortle 6, seeing good, transparency medium