SH2-181 (Sharpless 181 )

This dim small nebula has an interesting loop structure and it a good object for those with a smaller field of view. The nebula is very dim so you will need a long exposure to pick up the higher contrast seen in the black and white image. I took an hour with each of the color filters and did not pick up very much. The H-Alpha filter seems to do very well with this object but that is the only narrowband that works well. So I ended up using the H-Alpha to blend with the red and blue channels to colorize the nebula. Imagers with a wider field of view can also pick up Sh2-183 which shows up in the lower left here. To the far right is SH2-182, this small nebula is a good one for very large instruments.

For a complete list of the Sharpless Catalog visit my main site at

Images by Dean Salman