Pictures of the Cave Nebula

An astrophotography gallery featuring pictures of the Cave Nebula, also known as Caldwell 9 and Sh2-155, and facts about this mesmerising deep-sky object.

The Cave Nebula is a dark, dense cloud of cosmic gas embedded in a giant emission nebula. It is located in the Cepheus constellation in a region about 2,400 lightyears away from Earth.

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In images of the Cave Nebula, the bright rim that can be clearly seen is illuminated by radiation from hot, young stars, producing a glowing cosmic cloud that has become a favourite target for those who enjoy engaging in a spot of deep-sky astronomy and astrophotography.

In fact, this curved arc was most likely the reason for Sh2-155 – as it is formally known – being given the moniker ‘Cave Nebula’ by Sir Patrick Moore, who probably felt it bore a resemblance to a cosmic cave.

Patrick also included it in his very own deep-sky catalogue the Caldwell Catalogue, making it a key deep-sky target that amateur astronomers and astrophotographers love to tick off their observing and capture list.

Below are some of the best pictures of the Cave Nebula sent to us over the years. For astro imaging tutorials, browse our astrophotography guides or read our top tips on the best astrophotography cameras.

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If you would like to submit your own images, read our guide on how to send us your astrophotos. You can of course also share them with us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cave Nebula by Mark Shelley, Kent, UK.
Cave Nebula by Mark Shelley, Kent, UK. Equipment: Modified Canon EOS 350D DSLR, Takahashi Epsilon 180ED astrograph, Sky-Watcher EQ6 mount.
Cave Nebula by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK.
Cave Nebula by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW150P Newtonian, EQ5 GoTo Mount, QHY8L coold ccd OSC camera.
Cave Nebula by Roger Brooker, Kelling Heath Star Party 2014, UK.
Cave Nebula by Roger Brooker, Kelling Heath Star Party 2014, UK. Equipment: Ts65q, SXVh9 Camera, EQ6 Pro via EQMOD, Ts9mm OAG, Qhy5 guide cam. Filters – Baader LRGB.
Cave Nebula by Chris Heapy, Macclesfield, UK.
Cave Nebula by Chris Heapy, Macclesfield, UK. Equipment: TeleVue NP127is refractor, Atik490EX CCD, Losmandy G11 Mount, TV Pronto + Lodestar
Cave Nebula by Richard Cardoe, Cambridge, UK.
Cave Nebula by Richard Cardoe, Cambridge, UK. Equipment: SW Equinox ED80 DS-PRO with SW 0.85 reducer, HEQ5 PRO Synscan with Rowan Belt Drive mod, Atik 383l+ Mono CCD + Baader 36mm 7nm Ha, 8.5nm OII and 8nm SII filters, ZWO ASI120MM + Orion 162mm/F3.2 guidescope with PHD2.
Cave Nebula by Sheila Whysall, Heanor, Derbyshire, UK.
Cave Nebula by Sheila Whysall, Heanor, Derbyshire, UK. Equipment: Takahashi 106 FSQ, QSI 690 wsg-8, astrodon 3 nm Ha, Sii and Oii filters. All subs unguided on GM1000 mount.
Cave Nebula by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez, Brihuega, Spain.
Cave Nebula by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez, Brihuega, Spain. Equipment: Takahashi FSQ106EDX, akahashi EM400 Temma2, CCD Atik 460EX mono + Baader LRGB + SX Filter Wheel, Lunãtico EZG-60 + SXLodestar, RoboFocus + AstroMatic (ftorrev), MaximDL + AstroMatic (ftorrev)
Cave Nebula by James Robertson, Croydon, UK.
Cave Nebula by James Robertson, Croydon, UK. Equipment: Canon 750d modified, Astronomik Ha clip filter, Skywacher Esprit 80ed f5/400