The Lion Nebula

Our adventure through the constellation of Cepheus continues with a stop by Sh2-132, referred to as the Lion Nebula. Honestly I am still trying to make a lion out of this image but have only gotten to see a vague image of a lion’s head. Nonetheless, this target is yet another beauty in cosmic proximity to the Elephant Trunk Nebula (IC 1396) and the Flying Bat and Squid Nebulae pair. Sh2-132 is a rich hydrogen region with several star clusters, and emission and dark nebulae. It is located at a distance of about 1,000 light years away in the Perseus arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.

This image was captured over 7 hours and under an 86% moon, which gave way to clear north skies. Post-processing was particularly challenging but I eventually produced something I was satisfied with. The images below used two different color schemes. The second image accentuates the dark nebulae and brings out more of the nebulosity. Which color scheme do you prefer? While you consider your choice, be sure to look up and experience an amazing Universe!

Color scheme using a basic HOO model.

This color scheme (also HOO) better models the rich nebulosity and accentuates the dark nebulae.

Gear: AA Hypercam 26C, Askar 80 PHQ, HEM27 mount, Optolong L-Ultimate; ZWO OAG + AA120mc

Exif: 89 x 5-min lights; Gain 200, Offset 3, TEC @ 10 degrees; 20 darks,

SharpCap, PHD2; AstroPixelProcessor, PixInsight; Photoshop


  1. I really like the contrast between the orange yellow part on the left, and then the luminescent neon blue green in the right.
    Best I can do for a lion is to consider the orange red part in the lower left as the lion’s head looking to the right with his mouth open roaring and you can see some of the teeth 🤔.
    Definitely another great shot thanks for sharing! Wishing you clear dark skies!

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