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Sadr Region in Cygnus | IC 1318 and Emission Nebula

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The Sadr Region in the Cygnus refers to the hydrogen emission nebula surrounding Sadr (Gamma Cygni) in the cross of Cygnus.  In this area of the night sky, you will also find even more deep-sky astrophotography targets such as the Butterfly Nebula (IC 1318), and the Crescent Nebula.

The photo below centers the image frame around Sadr, and showcases the diffuse emission nebula in this area. This photo was captured using a Canon EOS Rebel Xsi and a Canon EF 300mm F/4L lens. The camera was mounted to an iOptron SkyGuider Pro mount to track the night sky. 

Related Post: The Cygnus Constellation

Sadr Region

The star, Sadr, surrounded by a hydrogen emission nebula.

At this focal length, the Butterfly Nebula and NGC 6916 are visible. An even wider image will reveal the many interesting deep-sky objects in the Sadr region. 

Compare this image to one shot with the William Optics RedCat 51 Petzval APO, at a 250mm focal length. The photo captures a massive area of nebulae in the Cygnus constellation. An OPT Triad Ultra filter was used to help isolate the nebula regions from a light polluted backyard sky. 

Nebula in Cygnus

The Sadr Region in Cygnus captured using a telescope with a 250mm focal length.

Sadr Region in Cygnus

There is some very interesting nebulosity surrounding the star, Gamma Cygni. Sadr, the stars traditional name, has 12 times the mass of our Sun and about 150 times our Sun’s radius. IC 1318 is considered to be the diffuse emission nebula surrounding Sadr, or Gamma Cygni.

I think that this image turned out okay. I had some issues with framing, and I may have chewed up the stars a little too much in processing. I will often trade more detail in the nebulae for smaller, crunchier stars. I just try to view the image as a whole, and not judge it to critically while zoomed in. I feel that with better equipment, I may be able to achieve better results.

Update: Wide Field Image

In 2018, I again revisited the Sadr region, this time focusing on the bright emission nebula, IC1318. The photo below was captured using a Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR camera through the William Optics Zenithstar 73 APO.

Butterfly Nebula in Ha

Sadr and the Butterfly Nebula in Ha – William Optics Zenithstar 73 APO

Summer Imaging Comes to a Close

When I think of astrophotography in the summer, I think of the all of the gorgeous nebulae and stars in Sagittarius and Scorpius. The Southern treats that only stay up long enough to image for 3 short months. Being late August, those days are already gone. I won’t visit the Lagoon Nebula, Trifid and Eagle Nebula again until next spring.

Late August also shows us a preview of what the Fall and Winter constellations await us in the early morning hours. I watched the mighty Orion rise from my driveway at 4:00am. The shifting of the constellations in our night sky is a beautiful way to witness the seasons change.

Canon DSLR astrophotography

Time for an upgrade?

My current astrophotography camera (Canon Xsi/450D) has been through countless outdoor all-nighters. I fear that the shutter actuation count is very high, (I’ll check eventually) and that a “shutter-explosion” is imminent. Not to mention the constant manual cleaning of the sensor, and the fact that I took the entire thing apart to modify it!

I plan to look into an entry level CMOS astronomy camera soon and to transition away from my aging Canon.


Sadr Region (IC 1318) – Photo Details

Imaged from my light-polluted backyard in St. Catharines, Ontario
Taken over 2 nights, Sat. Aug 15th, Fri. Aug 21st, 2015
Telescope: Explore Scientific ED80 with WO Flat III 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Synscan
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro II and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Orion Mini 50mm
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Modified)
ISO: 1600
Total Exposure: 3 Hours, 52 Minutes (58 x 240 seconds)
Processing Software: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop CC
Support Files: 30 darks


IC 1318 – The Butterfly Nebula

Just below Sadr, lies IC 1318, the Butterfly Nebula. Although it may look like two nebulae, it is actually cataloged as one, with a central dark dust lane running through it. The nebulae on each side are the butterfly’s wings.

The following image was captured using a William Optics FLT 132 refractor, and a ZWO ASI294MC-Pro CMOS camera. An STC Astro Duo-Narrowband filter (Ha + OIII) was used to isolate the intense hydrogen and oxygen gas that this nebula is comprised of.

IC 1318 - The Butterfly Nebula

IC 1318 – The Butterfly Nebula

This photo includes just over 6 hours worth of total integrated exposure time from my backyard in the city.

Annotated Image

Below, you’ll find an annotated image of the Sadr region that marks the many deep-sky objects found in this region. This includes the NGC 6910 and NGC 6913 star clusters, IC 1318, and the bright star, 34Cyg (P Cygni). 

You can easily annotate your own astrophotography images using the astrometric calibration service at

Sadr region annotated

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