Heart of the Heart Nebula (Melotte 15)

Melotte 15 is the central region of the Heart Nebula (IC 1805), some 7,500 light years away from us. Melotte 15 is a relatively small open cluster of stars some 1.5 million years old, some of them 50-times more massive than the sun, and surrounded by the interstellar cloud. The interesting shape of the gas filaments in Melotte 15 are created through wind and radiation from the stars in the cluster. Melotte 15 is responsible for the ionization of the hydrogen in the Heart Nebula giving it the red glow in the visual spectrum. The photo below is produced using narrowband imaging.

Melotte 15

Data and processing: Goran Petrov
License: Creative Commons BY NC (free for non-commercial use, with attribution).
Click on the image to view in full size.

Location: Novo Selo, Kumanovo, Macedonia
Date: 2016-12-15
Total integration time:  8 hours

Camera: ATIK One 9.0, cooled to -35C
Telescope: Takahashi FSQ 106 ED refractor
Ha, SII, OIII: total of 31 x 15 min

Processed in PixInsight.

This photograph was made with the use of narrowband filters.
Narrowband Information was mapped to RGB (with a modified Hubble Palette).
Luminance information was synthetized from narrowband.

This image is a crop of a larger image.