Melotte 15 in the Heart

LRGBV6Melotte15_JWalker

Image Credit & Copyright: 
Jimmy Walker
Explanation: Cosmic clouds seem to form fantastic shapes in the central regions of emission nebula IC 1805. Of course, the clouds are sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula’s newbornstar cluster, Melotte 15. About 1.5 million years young, the cluster stars are near the center of this colorful skyscape, along with dark dust clouds in silhouette. Dominated by emission from atomic hydrogen, the telescopic view spans about 30 light-years. But wider field images reveal that IC 1805’s simpler, overall outline suggests its popular name – The Heart Nebula. IC 1805 is located along the northern Milky Way, about 7,500 light years distant toward the constellation Cassiopeia.

APOD NASA 27-dec-13