The star-forming region Sh2-64 (Westerhout 40) in Serpens

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Location / Date

Zellerndorf, July 2018 - September 2019

Telescope / Mount / Guiding

ASA 10" Astrograph, ASA 3" Wynne-Corrector (focal length 910mm)
ASA DDM60, no guiding

Camera / Exposure

Moravian G3-16200
2 x 2 panel mosaic:
LUM 231 x 10min
R 56 x 10min, G 56 x 10min, B 64 x 10min
Hα 66 x 20min

Total exposure time: 90h 10min


PixInsight, Photoshop


Sharpless 64 (Sh2-64) or Westerhout 40 (W40) or RCW 174) is a star-forming region in the Milky Way located in the constellation Serpens. In this region, interstellar gas forming a diffuse nebula surrounds a cluster of several hundred new-born stars. It one of the nearest sites of formation of high-mass O-type and B-type stars (approx. 1400 ly).

Dust from the molecular cloud in which W40 formed obscures the nebula and makes it unimpressive in visible light. X-ray, infrared and radio observations have been used to see through the molecular cloud to study the star-formation processes going on within.
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MouseOver to compare visible light with an infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope

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