2018-10-14 / Click on image to enlarge
IC 59 and IC 63 are located about 600 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. IC 63 — the brighter of the two and slightly closer to Gamma Cassiopeia (y Cas) than IC 59 — is a combination of an emission and reflection nebula. Unlike a reflection nebula which appears blue, the glowing hydrogen gas appears red. IC 59 is primary a reflection nebula, showing much less red hydrogen, and is appearing blue of dust reflected starlight that is passing through it. The bright, hot star Gamma Cassiopeia (y Cas) is located only 3 to 4 light-years from the nebula. This remarkable star is partly unstable and is known as a "shell star". It is the brightest star in Cassiopeia.