2016-12-29 / Image Details (Click on image to enlarge)
The Heart Nebula, IC 1805 or Sharpless 2-190, lies some 7500 light years away from Earth and is located in the constellation Cassiopeia. It is an emission nebula showing glowing ionized hydrogen gas and darker dust lanes. The very brightest part of this nebula is separately classified as NGC 896 or IC 1795, because it was the first part of this nebula to be discovered. The nebula's intense red output and its configuration are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula's center, called Melotte 15. This open cluster contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, and many more dim stars that are only a fraction of our Sun's mass.