There is certainly something magical about the Universe and its workings: how new stars are born from gas and dust; how planets form around those stars from leftover cosmic material; how galaxies clump together to form massive clusters; how 95% of the Universe is made up of the mysterious dark matter and dark energy.
Perhaps it’s only right that there should be a Wizard Nebula: a reminder of the majesty of the cosmos and the mysteries that still lie just beyond our grasp
NGC 7380 Wizard Nebula by Chris Heapy, Macclesfield, UK. Equipment: TeleVue NP127is, Losmandy G11, Gemini L.4, Atik490EX, TV Pronto, Lodestar
Of course, the Wizard Nebula is simply a shape in a cosmic cloud surrounding open star cluster NGC 7380. Over the years it has earned its sorcerous nickname because of its similarity in appearance to a magician in a pointed hat,
The Wizard Nebula is located 7,000 lightyears from Earth in our Milky Way galaxy and is found in the constellation Cepheus.
Star cluster NGC 7380 is embedded deep within the nebula, having only formed within the last 5 million years (the blink of an eye, in cosmic terms).
This is an active star-forming region, and the stars in NGC 7380 unleash powerful streams of charged particles known as stellar winds that have sculpted the nebula into the wizard shape we see today.
NGC 7380 The Wizard Nebula by Pekka Simell, Vantaa, Finland. Equipment: WO FLT98, WO Fieldflattener4, Atik314L+, APMach1GTO mount, H-alpha, OIII and SII.
Below is a gallery of pictures of the Wizard Nebula captured by astrophotographers and BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers.
For more info on photographing nebulae, read our guide to deep-sky astrophotography or discover our pick of the best astrophotography cameras.
And don’t forget to send us your images or share them with us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Wizard Nebula, NGC 7380, by Rachael & Jonathan Wood, Doncaster, 30 July & 19 August 2020. Equipment: ZWO ASI 294MC Pro camera, Sky-Watcher Evostar ED80 refractor, Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount
The Wizard Nebula by Chris Harvey, Loughborough, 17 September 2019. Equipment: Altair GPCAM3 290C camera, Explore Scientific ED102 apo refractor, Sky-Watcher EQ5 Pro mount
The Wizard Nebula by Ross Clark, Whitley Bay, 24-25 August 2019.
Equipment: ZWO ASI1600 MC Pro Gain 200 camera, Lacerta 72/432 f/6 apo refractor, iOptron CEM25P mount.
The wizard nebula by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez, HI-Ambacht, The Netherlands. Equipment: Skywatcher ED80/Robtics ED110, Camera: SXV-H9
NGC7380 Wizard Nebula by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, England. Equipment: Atik 314L+, ED80, HaRGB
NGC7380 Flying Horse Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire UK. Equipment: GSO 8″ Richey-Chretien Optical tube, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
The Wizard Nebula by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Esprit 100ED, Ioptron CEM 60, QSI 690CCD
NGC7380 – The Wizard Nebula by Gavin James, Marlborough, UK. Equipment: Celestron EdgeHD 800, Reducer, QSI-683-WSG.
The Wizard Nebula by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Epsirt 100ED, QSI 690 CCD, Ioptron CEM 60 Mount
NGC 7380 Wizard Nebula by Patryk Tomalik, Gloucester, UK. Equipment: Stellarvue 80SV, TVx0.8, Sbig ST8300, AZ EQ6GT, Ha, OIII, SII
NGC7380 Wizard Nebula in HST by Chrish Heapy, Macclesfield, UK. Equipment: TV NP127is, Atik490EX, 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II, unguided, Astrodon 3nm Ha, OIII, SII, Baader 7nM Ha
NGC7380 Wizard Nebula by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: RC 6″ scope, Atik 314l+ mono, Baader narrowband filters,n HEQ5 Pro mount, Nebulosity.
NGC7380 Wizard Nebula by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: RC 6″ scope, Atik 314l+ mono, Baader narrowband filters, HEQ5 Pro mount, Nebulosity.
NGC7380 Wizard Nebula by Stephen Dean, Isle of Wight, UK. Equipment: NEQ6 Mount, Skywatcher 80mm ED, Atik 414 EX, Altair AStro Narrowband filters.
NGC7380 – Wizard Nebula – Hubble Palette by Simon Todd, Haywards Heath, UK. Equipment: Sky-Watcher Quattro 8-CF 8″ F4 Newtonian, Celestron Telescopes C80ED, Atik 383L+ Mono CCD, Qhyccd 5L-II, Sky-Watcher EQ8 Pro
Wizard Nebula by Haim Huli, Kibutz Ramat Hakovesh, Israel. Equipment: Skywatcher P250 F4.8, ASA DDM60, QSI583 Mono, Astrodon Ha 3nm, Astrodon RGB Gen II.
NGC7380 – Wizard Nebula – SHO by Simon Todd, Haywards Heath, UK. Equipment: Sky-Watcher Quattro 8-CF 8″ F4 Newtonian, Celestron Telescopes C80ED, Atik Cameras 383L+ Mono CCD, Qhyccd 5L-II, Sky-Watcher EQ8 Pro
NGC7380 Wizard Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik Sii, Ha, Oiii filters, Astro physics 0.67 reducer.
Wizard Nebula bicolour by Martin Bradley, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK. Equipment: 10″ LX200 ACF, QSI 532wsg, Baader 7nm Ha and OIII filters
NGC 7380 Wizard Nebula by Duan Yusef, Canvey Island, Essex, UK. Equipment: IK 10″ Truss Tube RC, Astro Physics CCD67 Telecompressor, SW EQ8 Mount, ZWO ASI1600MM-C, Altair 60mm Guide Scope, Orion Starshoot guide Camera