SH2-126 & LBN437 Gecko Nebula

SH2-126 & LBN437 Gecko Nebula; captured from BLM land near Powderhorn, Colorado with the Southern Cross on 5 July 2024

Target Fun Facts

LBN437 & SH2-126:  SH2-126 is a large emission nebula in the Lacerta (The Lizard) constellation.  It appears in this image as the red nebula. The source of its ionization is the intense ultraviolet radiation from the star 10 Lacertae, a blue main sequence star.

The yellow-brownish nebula, which forms a “stellar funnel” is designated LBN 437, also known as The Gecko Nebula. It is a molecular cloud whose densest part is associated with some bright young stars. Its most striking feature is a symmetrical reflection nebula associated with the Herbig Ae/Be star V375 Lacertae. This star is also responsible for the bipolar Herbig-Haro objects within the nebula. Herbig-Haro objects are small nebulae around young stars. They form when gas ejected by the star hits dust clouds.

This region, with its faint nebular filaments, is part of Lacerta OB1, a giant star-forming region about 1200 light-years from Earth.  {From:}

Other Catalog Designations:  LBN437 Gecko Nebula
Subtype: Nebula
Distance from Earth: 1200 light years
Apparent Size: 1°15’ x 20’
Constellation: Lacerta
{Target information derived from Stellarium }

Other Catalog Designations:  SH2-126, LBN428
Subtype: HIII region
Distance from Earth: 1200 light years
Apparent Size: 1°50’ x 30’
Constellation: Lacerta
{Target information derived from: Stellarium }

Capture Notes

This image was captured on the second night of our dark skies trip over the 4th of July weekend (4-7July2024). After I got Big Bertha started on her first image of the night, I got the Southern Cross started on the Gecko Nebula. As with the night before, again the autofocuser performance wasn’t great…although changing from 7 to 9 data points (or maybe it was the change from 100 to 75 steps per data point) decreased the influence of the “dog ear” points at the start, it didn’t eliminate them.  SGP would resolve the autofocusing but with a warning that it wasn’t optimal, so I went into the control panel and unselected “use autofocus” for the rest of the sequence (night).  The target rose right at about 2200 and was scheduled for its meridian flip at 0445 – perfect timing for when astronomical twilight was ending – so I let the Southern Cross run all night collecting data on a single target…70x5min subframes at gain 158.

This was the first time that I’ve imaged this object and I am very excited to have a new object to process and add to my collection.  I’m not sure where this object came from – it was in my July Telescopius list, so obviously I found it on one of the lists I combined last year to create those consolidated monthly lists – but I can’t remember its origin.  Wherever it came from, I’m glad I stumbled upon it! It will make a good New Mexico, Southwest, or desert scene image.

Capture & Processing Notes:

Sequence Plan (5Jul2024): Gain: 158, Temp: -0°C, offset=30. 70x5min.  Captured 5Jul2024, 2216MDT – 6Jul2024, 0437MDT.  Total exposure time: 350minutes or 5:50hrs (ASI2400-SC)
Captured: 5 July 2024
Shooting Location: BLM land near Powderhorn, Colorado