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The Heart and Soul Nebulae

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About the image:

This is a wide field photograph capturing both the Heart Nebula (IC1805) and the Soul Nebula (IC1848) as well as the double open star clusters, NGC869 and NGC884, and a smaller open star cluster NGC 957. The image was captured as a focal length of 135mm using the Samyang 135mm F2 manual lens and the ZWO 294 dedicated astro camera cooled to -10 C. The Heart nebula is a large HII emission nebula in the constellation of cassiopeia and is around 7,500 light years from earth. The nebula is approx 330 light years in diameter. Connected to the heart nebula is the Fish Head Nebula, (IC1795) which is the brightest part of the overall Heart Nebula. The Fish Head Nebula is an intense region of star formation.

The soul nebula, the lower of the two in this photo, is another HII emission nebula comprised mostly of ionised hydrogen gas, contains several small open star clusters. The soul nebula spans an area of the sky that is equivalent to 4 full moons.

The double open star clusters of NGC 844 and NGC 869 are thought to be relatively young, with the majority of the stars within then being around 13 million years old. The clusters are also blueshifted, meaning the light wavelength has been compressed into the blue part of the spectrum due to them moving towards the earth at a speed of around 24 miles per second.

Where in the sky is it?

The Heart and Soul nebulae can be found high in the northern parts of UK skies, found in the constellation of Cassiopeia.


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