Celestial hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Cepheus (Cep)  ·  Contains:  LBN 541  ·  LBN 546  ·  LDN 1235  ·  VdB149  ·  VdB150
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Shark Nebula in Cepheus, 


Shark Nebula in Cepheus, 



Shark Nebula in Cepheus

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Shark Nebula in Cepheus, 


Shark Nebula in Cepheus, 



Shark Nebula in Cepheus

Acquisition details

Sept. 6, 2022
201×300(16h 45′)
16h 45′
Avg. Moon age:
10.38 days
Avg. Moon phase:
Bortle Dark-Sky Scale:

RA center: 22h13m18s.134

DEC center: +73°1211.79

Pixel scale: 0.774 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: -1.490 degrees

Field radius: 0.785 degrees

WCS transformation: thin plate spline

More info:Open 

Resolution: 6104x4012

File size: 10.1 MB

Locations: My backyard observatory, Vienna, Austria

Data source: Backyard


I approached this object with low expectations to get a decent image from my Bortle 7 suburban observatory; therefore it was pleasant to find a legible signal in the integrated image (16h45').

Sky Object Identification Tools - WikiSky as an additional option to Aladin

Above the Shark (see picture below and the annotated version) is clearly visible a nebulous object that initially I have not been able to identify using Aladin/VizieR. In NED I found an object (WISEA J221402.49+733141.7) not exactly at the very same coordinates and with no details.

Update 8 Sep 2022:
Using WikiSky I identified the object as USNOA2 1575-05001417. Apart from the name, no other information is available. I suppose it is a far away galaxy or a quasar. Are there other sources that can be consulted in order to identify its nature? Many thanks in advance for your suggestions.

At least I found an additional entry point for future researches.

Detail of the unknown object, later identified as USNOA2 1575-05001417, excerpted by the main image here with minimal processing. No details are available on the object, probably a far away galaxy.

Shark Nebula

The nice object description that follows is the 7 September 2015 NASA APOD comment
There is no sea on Earth large enough to contain the Shark nebula. This predator apparition poses us no danger, though, as it is composed only of interstellar gas and dust. Dark dust like that featured here is somewhat like cigarette smoke and created in the cool atmospheres of giant stars. After being expelled with gas and gravitationally re-condensing, massive stars may carve intricate structures into their birth cloud using their high energy light and fast stellar winds as sculpting tools. The heat they generate evaporates the murky molecular cloud as well as causing ambient hydrogen gas to disperse and glow red. During disintegration, we humans can enjoy imagining these great clouds as common icons, like we do for water clouds on Earth. Including smaller dust nebulae such as Lynds Dark Nebula 1235 and Van den Bergh 149 & 150, the Shark nebula spans about 15 light years and lies about 650 light years away toward the constellation of the King of Aethiopia (Cepheus).

About Interstellar Dust

Fractal Interstellar Dust Close-up - Credit & Copyright: E. L. Wright (UCLA)

Again text taken form NASA APOD 6 July 2003
Our universe is a very dusty place. Dust usually shows its presence by blocking out light emitted from stars or nebulae behind it, sometimes creating the illusion of a horse's head or a sombrero hat.
But nobody really knows what a typical interstellar dust grain looks like. By studying how dust absorbs, emits, and reflects light, astronomers do know that interstellar dust is much different than the cell and lint based dust found around a typical house. Interstellar dust grains are composed mostly of carbon, silicon, and oxygen and are usually less than about 1/1000 of a millimeter across.
Recent work indicates that most dust grains are not spherical. The above picture shows the result of a fractal adhesion model for dust grains involving random conglomerates of spherical compounds of different properties, here artificially highlighted by different colors.