Melotte 15 - The Heart of the Heart

In the center of the well known heart nebula IC1805, a large emission nebula near the constellation Cassiopeia, is the young open cluster Melotte 15. A group of bright young stars that ionizes the gas around it and creates a glowing area in the cold interstellar dust.

Very diverse emission in different lines of Hydrogen, Oxigen and Sulfur make this object a beautiful target for Narrowband Astrophotography filtering only a very small portion of light, at the wavelength where the characteristic line emission of an element occurs. In this image we use the very popular Hubble (SHO) Palette, mapping Hα to Green, OIII to Blue and SII to Red. A color correction compensates for the overwhelmingly strong Hydrogen contribution. If you want to take colorful and dynamic images of emission nebulae under heavy light pollution, this is the way to go!

Photographed from Heidelberg, Germany under Bortle 7 sky conditions

  • Category

    Emission Nebula

  • Coordinates

    RA 02h 33m 22s
    DEC +61° 26′ 36″

  • Distance

    ~ 7500 ly

  • Apparent Mag

    6.5 mag

  • Equipment

    254mm f/4 Newton
    Skywatcher AZ-EQ 6
    QHY-9S mono CCD

  • Exposure

    Hα: 48 x 600 s
    OIII: 17 x 300 s
    SII: 24 x 300 s
    Total Integration: 14.3 h

  • Publication Date


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