Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Heart Nebula

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 newborn star cluster, Melotte 15.

About 1.5 million years young, the cluster stars are near the center in this colorful skyscape, along with dark dust clouds silhouetted against glowing atomic gas. A composite of narrow and broad band telescopic images, the view spans about 40 light-years and includes emission from hydrogen in green, sulfur in red, and oxygen in blue hues.
Wider field images reveal that IC 1805's simpler, overall outline suggests its popular name - The Heart Nebula. IC 1805 is located about 7,500 light years away toward the constellation Cassiopeia.

I saw this photo on a web site about Nebulas. Reading the paragraphs above, I am left with more questions than answers. You can fit all that I know concerning Nebulas inside a small thimble and still have plenty of room to spare. But I do know that we are all very small in comparison to the "larger picture." And I find this knowledge to be very humbling.

There is nothing that I could post here today which would compare with this insight. But, maybe tomorrow....

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