First comes the amusement of OpenAI. It’s so stubborn, and I had to give up the corner-cutting plan to let it write a masterpiece for this image.  

OpenAPI : “I apologize, but there is no celestial object known as Sharpless 157 or the Lobster Claw Nebula. The Sharpless catalog is a list of H II regions, or clouds of ionized hydrogen gas, in the Milky Way galaxy. It was compiled by astronomer Stewart Sharpless in the 1950s and includes over 300 objects. Each object in the catalog is designated with the abbreviation “Sh” followed by a number. The numbers are assigned sequentially, starting with Sh 2-1 for the first object in the catalog.

There is, however, a celestial object known as the Lobster Claw Nebula, also known as Sharpless 2-106 or Sh 2-106. It is a small, diffuse nebula located in the constellation Cygnus. It is a type of emission nebula, meaning it is a cloud of gas and dust that is glowing due to the presence of hot, young stars. The nebula gets its name from its distinctive shape, which resembles a lobster claw. It is located about 4,600 light-years away from Earth and is relatively small, measuring only about a light-year across. The nebula is ionized, or charged, by the radiation from a group of young, hot stars located at its center. These stars are thought to be responsible for the bright emission of light that gives the nebula its distinctive appearance. Despite its small size and relative obscurity, the Lobster Claw Nebula is an interesting object to study because it provides insight into the early stages of star formation. If you have access to a telescope or a good pair of binoculars, you may be able to spot the Lobster Claw Nebula in the night sky.”

Before switching our dual-refractor setup to the 14.5-inch RC, this is the last dataset I’ve attempted. The widefield view of the SH2-157 region is a typical H-II signal dominated region that is always a challenge to present when blending with other channels, especially with the dense star field. First time trying the powerful BlurXTerminator – it changes everything. The most pleasant thing for me is that it cured the headache from chromatic aberration when using fast wide-field refractors with full-frame small-pixel sensors. Post-processing becomes much more straightforward and simplified. Despite all the discussions about AI-assisted processing, Russell Croman‘s tools truly help astrophotographers focus on presenting the data in the most elegant ways. The steep learning curve of astrophotography data processing has been flattened big time.

There are a couple of interesting objects in this image. From the top, the small H-II region BFS 19, right beside it on the right, is another small H-II ([AAJ2015] G110.255+00.011) and Infra-Red (IRAS 23042+6000) region. The most interesting small thing is the bubble-shaped Planetary Nebula PN WeSb 6. It shows up in all three narrowband channels, with the O-III being the strongest. NAME Cas A, a SuperNova Remnant, mainly shows up in the O-III channel at the right border of this image. The larger O-III region to the left of the SuperNova Remnant remains a mystery, and I couldn’t find any information about it. 

Clear skies!