Emission Nebula

Sharpless 142 – Wizard Nebula

The Wizard Nebula, also known as NGC 7380, is a vibrant emission nebula located in the constellation Cepheus.

The Wizard Nebula, or NGC 7380, is a fascinating emission nebula situated in the constellation Cepheus, approximately 7,000 light-years away from Earth. Its intricate tendrils of gas and dust create a visually striking appearance, resembling the silhouette of a wizard with an outstretched arm. The nebula is actively forming new stars within its boundaries, contributing to the dynamic interplay of stellar birth and evolution.

Location and neighborhood.

Sharpless 142 is located in the constellation Cepheus. Its celestial coordinates are approximately right ascension 22h 47m 19s and declination +58° 07′ 12″ (J2000 epoch). Observers in the northern hemisphere can find Cepheus during different seasons, and the Wizard Nebula’s position within this constellation makes it visible in that specific region of the night sky.

Unique facts

  • The Wizard Nebula (NGC 7380) is known for its visually striking and intricate structures, resembling a figure that is often associated with a wizard or sorcerer, with a central cavity that appears as if the wizard is raising an arm.
  • The Wizard Nebula is an active star-forming region, with the gas and dust within its boundaries collapsing to form new stars.
  • The nebula exhibits a variety of emission lines in its spectrum, indicating the presence of ionized gases such as hydrogen.

Brightness and size

The apparent visual magnitude of the Wizard Nebula (NGC 7380) is around 7.2 magnitudes. This makes it visible with binoculars or small telescopes under relatively dark skies.

The Wizard Nebula is situated at a distance of approximately 7,000 light-years from Earth. This places it relatively far away within our Milky Way galaxy.

The physical size of the Wizard Nebula is challenging to specify precisely as it depends on the boundaries considered. However, the nebula spans several dozen light-years, encompassing the region where new stars are actively forming.

The angular size of the Wizard Nebula in the night sky is around 15 arcminutes. This measurement represents the apparent size of the nebula as observed from Earth and is an angular measurement on the celestial sphere.