Night Glider Part 2

So I decided to take a second look at the Seagull Nebula (IC 2177) from a wider field of view. Admittedly, I was shocked to see all of the rich nebulosity that surrounds this target. I was even more intrigued to see the close proximity of Thor’s Helmet (NGC 2359) to the Seagull Nebula; but that will be a subject for another capture 😊. The area is like a sea of hydrogen alpha (Ha) emissions, which is identified by the red in the photo. To give a clearer perspective, see the image below which is the Ha channel that was extracted from the dual narrowband filter used to capture the image. It is safe to say that Ha takes up most of the region.

Putting all of the technical details behind, this is undoubtedly a beautiful region in the night sky, with the seagull gliding in its full splendor, and apparently leaving a blue egg or defecate in its wake 🤭🤷🏾‍♂️. Whatever it may be, it is still a great reason to look up and experience an amazing Universe!!!

The Seagull Nebula (IC 2177) and Thor’s Helmet (NGC 2359) in hydrogen alpha.

Gear: AA Hypercam 26C, Askar FMA180, HEM27 mount, Optolong L-Ultimate; SVbony 120mm guidescope + ZWO 120mc

Exif: 21 x 300 seconds; Gain 200, Offset 3, TEC @ 10 degrees; 20 darks, 20 flats, 20 dark flats

SharpCap, PHD2; AstroPixelProcessor, PixInsight; Photoshop


  1. A magnificent capture of two spectacular objects. I was surprised to see them both in the same field – they are separated by four degrees! I think my surprise stems from the extent of the Seagull Nebula which you captured, which is greater than most images that I’ve seen.

    1. Thank you very much Roger. Imagine my delight when I saw them. My usual 420mm telescope malfunctioned so I decided gather data of the Seagull using a 180mm scope (as only option) to see how detailed I could get the target at that magnification. At first I centres the Seagull in the middle of the frame but I realized I was seeing significant reds to the bottom. So I decided to position it more to the top of the frame to see what will come up. After a test of 30 secs I saw a faint blue object to the bottom which was almost outside of the FOV. I moved it up some more to capture more of it. When I zoomed in I was shocked to see that it was Thor’s Helmet. I was both shocked and excited at the same time 😊. I was even more in shock because I thought Thors Helmet was a planetary nebula and I was using a 3nm dual narrowband filter. But then I quickly realized it was an emission nebula nebula, and I jumped at the opportunity. Sorry but I just had to give story 🤣.

  2. Hey Drex!
    Good work meh son!
    Thank you for “THOR’S HELMET”
    Perfectly named and that’s a new one on me!
    Keep up the good work, and as usual clear skies and keep on looking up! 👍💯

    1. Hey my friend. Mehn is has weeks on end with pure clouds. Last night was the first clear night in ages so I jumped at the opportunity. I am definitely going after Thors helmet at a much larger magnification. #staytuned 😊

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