Observation by John Hughes: Lower’s Nebula

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Mr John William Hughes


John Hughes


2022 Jan 05 - 20:00


2022 Jan 10 - 20:26


Sharpless 261

Planetarium overlay



Field centre

RA: 06h08m
Dec: +15°44'
Position angle: +1°21'

Field size

1°45' × 1°20'

  • William Optics Z103 refractor
  • ZWO ASI1600mm Pro Cooled camera
  • Chroma 1.25” RGB filters
  • Chroma 1.25” 3nm Ha filters
  • SkyWatcher EQ6R-Pro mount

300s, Gain 139, Offset 30


North Essex

Target name

Lower’s Nebula


Lower’s Nebula

About this image

So named after father and son amateur astronomers, Harold and Charles Lower who discovered this HII region in 1939. It is also a member of the Stuart Sharpless catalogue where it is designated Sh2-261.


This emission nebula is located in the constellation, Orion and can be found North of Betelguese. It is approximately 2,900 light years distant, 26 light years across and has a visual magnitude of +10.


Being situated in Orion it is surprising that it was not discovered sooner but given the competition from M42 and the Flame and Horse Head nebulae, it is not unexpected that this remains an infrequently photographed object.



HaRGB Composite with subframes made up as follows 36:12:12:12.

Exposure time 300s.

Darks x 50; flats x 25 and dark flats x 25.

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