Happy Heart and Soul

Our cosmic journey takes us north to the Perseus arm of the Milky Way galactic core in the constellation of a Cassiopeia. Meet the Heart Nebula (IC 1805) located some 7,500 light years away from Earth, and the Soul Nebula (Sharpless 2-199) which lies approximately 6,000 light years from Earth. Both targets are emission nebulas that glow with hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur gases, and darker dust lanes; and are said to contain active star-forming regions. You should be able to distinguish between the two, as the Heart Nebula resembles… well a heart. This area in the night skies will be revisited in the near future for a closer look at each nebula. In the meantime, keep looking up and experience an amazing Universe.

Gear: AA Hypercam 26C + Askar FMA180 on iOptron Skyguider Pro; SVBONY Ha and Oiii narrowband filters (7nm)

Exif: 4 hrs (180s) subs Ha, 2 hrs (180s) subs Oiii, Gain 200, Offset 3, TEC @ 10 degrees, f/4, focal length 180mm (unguided)


  1. Very nice Drex! I have two technical questions that you can give me your take on. 1. Although both these objects appear in the same frame of the camera, they are both quite different distances from the Earth. So I am guessing that that is just a coincidental alignment which as far as stars and star clusters go we would call
    an “asterism”. However I’m wondering if in fact these two objects are part of a larger cosmological structure and are therefore somehow linked gravitationally or cosmologically (maybe one part broke off from the other hundreds of thousands of years ago).
    Second, I’m looking at the two really bright areas in the Heart Nebula. Now these are bright but rather diffuse, so I’m wondering if these are a star or Stars in the center of that nebulosity simply lighting up the gas with their luminosity OR, are these gas clouds condensing and forming new stars, in other words a stellar nursery and emitting light and radiation as the stars form and the gas heats up.? 🤔
    Stuff to think about! 😃
    As usual thanks for the great photos and the background information for them!
    Well done!

    1. Hi Eric, I have to admit that I too assume that both nebulas are very far apart and just appears to be close for our vantage point ni would definitely have to research this. On your second query, the bright region in the center is know as Melotte 15, which is an active star forming region. This star cluster is responsible for the radiation emanating and causing the colors (gases) and the shape of the nebula. Stay tuned for my next post. 😊

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