wide field astrophotography
Located roughly 7,500 light years away, the Heart Nebula (IC1805) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It glows brightly with ionized hydrogen gas making the dark dust lanes really stand out. The bright region in the upper right portion of the nebula is classified separately as NGC 896. The nebula's intense red output and its morphology are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula's center. This open cluster of stars, known as Collinder 26 or Melotte 15, 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. Just to the upper left of the nebula lies the open cluster NGC 1027. Also seen in the lower left of the image (albeit mostly cut off from view) is the neighbouring Soul Nebula (IC 1848).
This image shows a different angle (rotation) and is cropped in a little closer. At this higher crop rate digital noise (grain) is a little more noticeable but at the same time the additional detail makes it worth a glance. I am looking forward to taking what I learned capturing and processing this image and using it to enhance the results next time I have the opportunity to image IC1805.