Autumn is a perfect time for collecting astrophotographic data on emission nebulae, which spread across different places in the northern sky. One of the less-known objects of this type is the Sharpless 2-132 emission cloud located on the border of the Cepheus and Lacerta constellations.

The distance to this cloud is estimated to be 10,000 – 12,000 light-years. There are a few massive stars that are responsible for the gas ionization in this region. Gas distribution in the Sh2-132 is also somehow interesting, as it can be noticed, that oxygen is mainly concentrated in the lion’s belly and legs, while hydrogen builds the lion’s head.

Sh2-132 Lion nebula
Sh2-132 Lion nebula

I captured data for this image already in October 2022. It is 18 hours in total exposure time made with narrowband filters H, O, and S. Color mapping is somehow a “classic” HST palette, so hydrogen is green, oxygen is blue and sulfur is red. However, the color’s local contrast and hues are a bit adjusted to reveal subtle differences in this giant molecular cloud.

You may find a small blue dot behind the lion in the lower right part of the image. This is a planetary nebula G101.5-00.6 which apparently is glowing mainly in the oxygen band, hence the intensive blue hue. It is better visible and easier to locate in the starless version of the image below.

It has been already seven years since I pointed the telescope at this target for the first time – as you may check at this entry As faint as Lion – astrojolo

Sh2-132 Lion nebula with stars removed
Sh2-132 Lion nebula with stars removed
Image technical data:

Date: October2022
Location: Nieborowice, Poland
Telescope: TecnoSky 90/540 Owl triplet
Corrector: TS FF/FR 0.8x
Camera: QHY268M
Mount: EQ6
Guiding: ASI290MM + Evoguide ED50
Exposure: 3x6 hours with Baader HSO narrowband filters. Single subframe time was 3 minutes
Conditions: Bortle 6, transparency medium-good, seeing medium