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This astrophotography subject is a widefield view of The SADR Region, IC1318. IC1318 (also called The Butterfly Nebula) is a diffuse emission nebula approximately 5,000 light years from Earth. The term “diffuse” means that it is spread out, without well-defined boundaries, and it contains emission, reflection, and dark nebulae. The star, SADR, prominently displayed near the center of the image, is the star in the center of the constellation Cygnus (The Swan). Although it looks like SADR is embedded in the center of the Nebula, they are unrelated. The star SADR is roughly 20 times the mass of our sun with around 150 times the radius. However, it is only about 1,800 light years from Earth. So, SADR just lies on a line between us and the nebula.


I photographed this object by taking a series of 10-minute exposures, (107 in all) totaling 17.8 hours, through narrow band filters to filter out ambient light and light pollution and enhance the signal from the nebula. I also photographed the surrounding starfield in broadband to capture the natural star colors. The total exposure time on this nebula is just over 20 hours.


Enjoy the SADR Region Nebula.


This is the equipment I used:

Telescope: William Optics Zenithstar Z61 APO Doublet

Mount: iOptron CEM60

Camera: ZWO ASI 1600MM Pro

Autoguider: ZWO Off Axis Guider

Guide Camera: Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2

Focal Reducer/Field Flattener: WO Flat 61


If you enjoyed this object and want to see how I photographed it, watch my documentary youtube video at: Photgraphing The SADR Region.


Butterfly Nebula Wall Art

  • If you order a metal print of The Butterfly Nebula, you can choose the size, surface, and finish of your picture.

    Canvas Prints come in only one finish (Flat/Matte) and one hanging option, so you will not be prompted for those options.

    Acrylic prints come with only one finish and one hanging option (French Cleat -- because of their heavier weight).

    You can order several different sizes of Metal, Canvas, and Acrylic Prints.

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