Heart and Soul nebula

15 December 2020

This huge stellar forming region located in the constellation of Cassiopeia is 6000 light years from the Earth, has an extension of 580 light years and covers a part of the Perseus’ arm of our galaxy, the Milky Way. They are large stellar nurseries where the giant blue stars, very young and bright like the ones at the Collinder 26 cluster in the center of the Heart (IC 1805, at right) ionize the surrounding hydrogen making the nebula shine with a characteristic red. The intense stellar winds produced by these stars had scattered the nearby gas producing its current shape.

The Soul Nebula (Sharpless 2-199, at left), spans for 100 light years and as the Heart nebula contains also several stellar clusters of which stands out IC1848 at the center of the nebula.

Image taken by Jorge A. Pérez Prieto and Pedro A. González Morales from the Teide Observatory, Tenerife. Instrument: 10cm refractor and SBIG STL11000 camera for Hα (28x600s) and Canon 6D full spectrum for color (12x600s at 1000 ISO).


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