The Heart Nebula,
Sh2-190, lies some 7500 light years away from Earth
and is located in the Perseus arm of the Galaxy in the
constellation Cassiopeia. This is an emission nebula showing
glowing gas and darker dust lanes. The nebula is formed by
plasma of ionized hydrogen and free electrons.
The very brightest part of this nebula (the knot at the
right) is separately classified as NGC
896, because it was the first part of this nebula to
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 centre. This open cluster of stars
known as 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. The cluster used to contain a microquasar that was
expelled millions of years ago.
Soul Nebula (Sharpless 2-199,
LBN 667) is emission nebulae in
Cassiopeia. Several small open clusters are embedded in the
nebula: CR 34,
634 (in the head) and IC1848
(in the body). The object is more commonly called by the
cluster designation IC1848.
Small emission nebula IC1871 is
present just left of the top of the head, and small emission
nebulae 670 and
669 are just below the lower
This complex is the eastern neighbour of IC1805 (Heart Nebula) and the
two are often mentioned together as the "Heart and Soul".
text above is taken from
Wikipedia: for the
Heart and for the
processing of this image was difficult from a star point of
view. As I stretched the image got completely filled with
stars, hiding the nebula. The trick was to remove the stars
before stretching and then add the star layer below the
non-star layer and blend using lighten (in PS CS5).
following software has been used. MaximDL (image
acquisition), CCDStack (calibration and de-convolution),
PixInsight (cropping, background correction, colour
corrections) and Photoshop CS5 (all the rest, incl Noel
Carbonis Astronomy Tools).
Since this object is dominated by H alpha I used the red
channel as the luminance when doing the LRGB combine after
CCDStack calibration. The image was processed in January
2011, more than two years after it was taken.