LIGHT FROM THE HEART
Photo Credit: Cesar Blanco Gonzalez: CLICK photo for larger view and see below for information and links.
1st line of business: Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone out there. Truth be told, I think that the “holiday” is a marketing tactic to sell a bunch of junk and get people to spend a ton of money. Those of us that truly appreciate our better halves with go out and have a great day/night but we don’t need a recognized peer pressure day to treat someone well. Not trying to sink ships, but hopefully you respect and care for people no matter what day it is.
2nd line of business: THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH as my Instagram account has cleared 20,000 followers!!! I’m both honored and blown away at the same time that there’s that many of you out there that enjoy my cosmic ramblings. To those who enjoy the information, spread my pages to your friends and or just enjoy seeing the photos, it’s all very much appreciated. Again THANK YOU!!!
Here’s a heart for Valentine’s Day! It’s not filled with chocolate however, it is filled with jewels! This vast expanse of gas and dust located 7500 light years away in the constellation Cassiopeia stretches a whopping 200 light years and bears a resemblance to the classical heart shape. That shape is being formed by Melotte 15, an open star cluster that was birthed into existence from the very cloud of material that it’s pushing away (Kind of like some teens I know). The cluster is approximately 1.5 million years old and its radiation is ionizing the nebula, rendering it aglow. Melotte 15 contains a few stars that are extremely large, upwards of 50X the mass of our Sun.
If you could see this structure in the night sky, fully illuminated as you see it here it would stretch two full degrees or for perspective, four full moons wide!
NAME: Heart Nebula, IC 1805, Sharpless 2-190, SH2-190, Melotte 15 (central star cluster).
WHAT IS IT?: Emission nebula.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 7500 light years distant.
HOW BIG IS IT?: Approximately 200 light years at its widest and about 2 full degrees (4 full moons) on the night sky.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE?: Very dim 18.3.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Northern constellation of Cassiopeia.
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 02h 32m 35.57s / DEC +61° 29′ 2.3”.
Cesar Blanco Gonzalez website: http://www.cieloprofundo.com/
Cesar Blanco Gonzalez website page for this image: http://www.cieloprofundo.com/cesar/pagina_gral_banda%20estrecha/paginas_banda%20estrecha/ic1805.html
NASA APOD page for this photo: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html