A Cosmic Delicacy

Ready for a delectable bite on a seafood favorite? Well let’s jump over to the edge of the constellation of Cassiopeia near its border with Cepheus, and explore what’s referred to as the Lobster Claw Nebula (Sh2-157). You may recall the name as mentioned in my recent blog on the Bubble Nebula.

Location of the Lobster Claw Nebula courtesy of AstroBackyard.

The Lobster Claw Nebula is an emission nebula located approximately 11,000 light years away from Earth and is part of the Milky Galactic core. The featured image has over 15 hours of integration using a one shot color camera and 3nm dual narrowband filter. This color palette (often referred to as a variant of the Hubble palette) was used to add contrast and bring out more of the nebulousity and details. The “gold” areas are the rich hydrogen 2 regions, while the blue areas are predominantly from the emission of light from oxygen regions.

Starless Lobster Claw Nebula.

I have always been intrigued with this target, but I have never attempted to capture it. It was captured over 3 nights, one of those nights having a 99% waning moon. This experience has reconfirmed the power of dual band narrowband filters, which blocks out light pollution, even that of the moon, and has the ability to isolate the hydrogen and oxygen regions. This is definitely a game changer for astrophotographers who do not own monochrome cameras, or just don’t have time to capture each channel separately. This is particularly useful with the limited clear skies the world appears to be experiencing. The journey continues! Keep looking up and experience an amazing Universe!

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

Exif: 180 x 5-min lights; Gain 200, Offset 3, TEC @ 10 degrees; 20 darks,

SharpCap, PHD2; AstroPixelProcessor, PixInsight; Photoshop


  1. Very Nice indeed! Another example of how modern technology has made it possible for the backyard astronomer to capture and view many objects which until now would have been impossible optically!
    Good work I always enjoy the amazing detail and the amazing color contrasts that you were able to obtain! Wishing you clear skies as always my friend! 😃💫🪐🌠🔭

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