NGC7023- The Iris Nebula

Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1,300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and cataloged as NGC 7023, this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers. Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a massive, hot, young star in its formative years. Central filaments of cosmic dust glow with a reddish photoluminesence as some dust grains effectively convert the star's invisible ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Yet the dominant color of the nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Dark, obscuring clouds of dust and cold molecular gas are also present and can lead the eye to see other convoluted and fantastic shapes. This image was taken on July 5, 2010. It is 190 minutes of total exposure, but I want to get more to bring out the brown dust clouds. Imaged by the Hyperion Astrograph and SBIG camera riding on a Paramount German equatorial platform. Click on the image for a better view.

All images © Mel Martin 2021     Contact Me