Sh2-140 is a star forming region located at about 2,900 light years from us in the constellation Cepheus. It is a beautiful and complex area and it features different kinds of structures, being the most prominent the hydrogen rich red clouds whose brightest structure is called Sh2-140, but also the dark dust clouds called LDN 1204 and 2304. In the middle there is a bright patch where the nearby young stars of cluster Pismis-Moreno-1 lighten the dust cloud nearby which sits in front of the red emission nebula. At the same time, these dark clouds block the light from the stars behind, which is seen by the reduced number of visible ones when compared with other areas. To be noticed the huge amount of stars in some areas; after all, we are looking to the Perseus arm of our Milky Way.
For me, one of the most interesting aspects of astronomy is mythology and Perseus' arm is certainly full of it. In Greek mythology, Cepheus was the king of Ethiopia and Cassiopeia his queen, a vain woman who once boasted she was more beautiful than the Nereids. The Nereids were sea nymphs and one of them was Poseidon's wife and that angered them. As a revenge, Poseidon sent Cetus, a sea monster, to ravage Cepheus lands. The oracles tell Cepheus the only way to prevent the impending disaster is to appease Poseidon by sacrificing their daughter. In desperation, Cepheus and Cassiopeia chain their daughter Andromeda to a rock for Cetus to find but luckily Perseus found her first, rescued her and defeated the monster. Later on, Perseus married Andromeda.
In the image above, the relative position of Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Cetus constellations can be seen (image taken from Stellarium). Cassiopeia is not named - can you guess which one is it?
These remarkable stories are remnants of an ancient past which is revealed to us not only in the literature but also on the stars above.
Remnants of an ancient past are also, in a way, my photo designs. While shot in the last few weeks, the concept and framing dates back from one year and a half ago but only now it was possible to materialize it. Still, it has much less integration time than I usually do but it turned out quite reasonable. Constructed as HaLRGB, with Ha blending done using SPCC in PixInsight.
Technical details as follows:
Ha 126 x 3’; Barcarena (Bortle 7) - 26.Jul|8.Aug 2023
LUM 124 x 3’; Santa Susana (Bortle 4) - 11.Aug | 13.Aug 2023
RED 25 x 3’; Santa Susana (Bortle 4) - 11.Aug | 13.Aug 2023
GREEN 34 x 3’; Santa Susana (Bortle 4) - 11.Aug | 13.Aug 2023
BLUE 28 x 3’; Santa Susana (Bortle 4) - 11.Aug | 13.Aug 2023
SW EQ6-R Pro | TS Optics Triplet APO 800/115 | TS Optics TSFLAT2 0.79x | QHYCCD 268M | Optolong LRGB | Astronomik Ha 6nm | RBFocus Gaius-S | RBFocus Myrrdin 2.3