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SH2-101 The Tulip Nebula, 



SH2-101 The Tulip Nebula

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
SH2-101 The Tulip Nebula, 



SH2-101 The Tulip Nebula

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Meade LX200 12" f/10

Imaging cameras: Atik 383L+ mono

Mounts: iOptron CEM 120

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Meade LX200 12" f/10

Guiding cameras: Lodestar

Focal reducers: Starizona SCT Corrector f/7.5

Software: PixInsight  ·  PHD guiding  ·  Sequence Generator Pro  ·  Dithering

Filters: Astronomik SII 12nm 1.25"  ·  Astronomik OIII 12nm 1.25"  ·  Astronomik Ha 12nm 1.25"

Accessory: Hutech Mitsuboshi OAG5 Guider  ·  Starizona MicroTouch Autofocuser  ·  Atik EFW2 Filter Wheel

Dates:Oct. 1, 2020Oct. 2, 2020Oct. 3, 2020Oct. 4, 2020Oct. 5, 2020

Astronomik Ha 12nm 1.25": 35x600" (5h 50') -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik OIII 12nm 1.25": 34x600" (5h 40') -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik SII 12nm 1.25": 34x600" (5h 40') -10C bin 1x1

Integration: 17h 10'

Darks: 30

Flats: 30

Bias: 100

Avg. Moon age: 16.21 days

Avg. Moon phase: 95.96%

Basic astrometry details job: 3907748

Resolution: 3290x2449

Locations: Lighthouse Observatory, Burleson, Texas, United States

Data source: Backyard


Sharpless 101 (Sh2-101) is a H II region emission nebula located in the constellation Cygnus. It is sometimes called the Tulip Nebula because it appears to resemble the outline of a tulip when imaged photographically. It was catalogued by astronomer Stewart Sharpless in his 1959 catalog of nebulae. It lies at a distance of about 6,000 light-years (3.5e16 mi) from Earth with an apparent magnitude of 9.0.

Sh2-101, at least in the field seen from earth, is in close proximity to microquasar Cygnus X-1, site of one of the first suspected black holes. Cygnus X-1 is the bright star near the bottom right corner of the image presented here.[Source: Wikipedia]

The Tulip Nebula occupies an area of 16 x 9 arc minutes of apparent sky and has a linear diameter of about 70 light years.  The HII region is called the Tulip Nebula because its shape resembles the form of a tulip and it has a reddish glow in long exposure photographs. Or a yellowish and blue glow in our Hubble palette.

The emission from the Tulip Nebula is powered by ultraviolet radiation of the hot young star HD 227018. The O6.5III class star belongs to the Cygnus OB3 association and has a visual magnitude of 9.02. In images, it can be seen near the nebula’s center.

The Tulip Nebula can be seen about 2 degrees southwest of the Crescent Nebula (NGC 688. Both objects can be found along an imaginary line drawn from Sadr, the central star of the Northern Cross, to Albireo, the contrasting binary star that marks the celestial Swan’s beak. The nebulae reside in the Orion Arm of our galaxy, in a rich Milky Way field full of interesting stars and deep sky objects. [Source: Constellation Guide].

CAPTURE Information:

The image was captured with the iOptron CEM120 mount , the venerable Meade 12"LX200 SCT, and my Atik 383L+ mono CCD at F7.16 (2182mm FL).

Image subs were taken through Astronomik's narrowband filters Ha, SII and OIII.

IMAGE information -- 2020

Ha : 35 subs (5.83 hr) on Oct 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

OIII : 34 subs (5.67 hr) on Oct 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

SII : 35 subs (5.67 hr) on Oct 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

All exposures were at 10 minutes (600s) each, 1x1 bin and -10C.

Processing was done with PixInsight, following (for the most part) kayronjm's tutorial of Feb. 24th from several years back.

The three integrated filters then created the Hubble Palette, using PixelMath and the following “SHO” formula:

Red = SII

Grn = Ha

Blu = OIII

The color image was then combined with Luminance, which was created using only subs from the Ha filter.


I put a genuine effort into bringing out the gold and blue colors. And was fairly pleased with the results.



SH2-101 The Tulip Nebula,