The Lobster Nebula – also known as NGC 6357 – is an active star-forming region filled with cosmic gas and dust and newborn stars.
It’s 400 lightyears wide and is located 8,000 lightyears away in the Scorpius constellation.
NGC 6357 Lobster Nebula by Tom Bishton, Brisbane, Australia. Equipment: ED120 Refractor, AZEQ6 Mount, ST80 Guidescope, Canon modded 600D, Synguider
While many astronomers see a lobster shape formed by the cosmic clouds of NGC 6357 – hence its nickname – others see a skull and a dove, leading to the nebula’s other nickname: the War and Peace Nebula.
NGC 6357 is often photographed along with NGC 6334, which is known as the Cat’s Paw nebula because its 3-lobed shape resembles a feline footprint.
Indeed, both easily fall under the category of nebulae that look like animals.
The Lobster and the Cat – NGC6357/NGC6344 by David Trotter, Sydney, Australia. Equipment: Canon 5D Mkii, Takahashi FSQ106n, AP Mach1 Mount
The Lobster Nebula region is home to star cluster Pismis 24, which contains some of the most massive known stars in our home galaxy.
For advice on photographing a nebula, read our guide to deep-sky astrophotography or discover our pick of the best astrophotography cameras.
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Nebula Lobster or War and Peace by Fernando Oliveira De Menezes, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Equipment: Apo 150 mm triplet, Qhy 16200
Lobster Nebula – NGC 6357 by Delberson Tiago de Souza, Silvania, GO, Brazil. Equipment: Orion ED80, SkyWatcher HEQ5, QHY163M, Optolong LRGB filters