NGC 6823 - The Vulpecula Cluster
NGC 6823 is an intriguing celestial duo, featuring an open cluster and an associated emission nebula. This celestial pair resides within the constellation Vulpecula, situated in the northern celestial hemisphere. Together, they form a captivating region of ongoing star formation and stellar interaction.
The open cluster NGC 6823 is composed of a group of young, hot stars that have recently coalesced from a common cloud of gas and dust. These massive stars, often referred to as "O-type" stars, emit copious amounts of ultraviolet radiation, which has a profound impact on their surroundings. The cluster's age is estimated to be around 2 million years, making it relatively youthful in astronomical terms.
Accompanying this cluster is the emission nebula, which is often designated as NGC 6820. This nebula, illuminated by the energetic radiation of the cluster's stars, glows with striking red hues characteristic of ionized hydrogen. The intense radiation from the young stars causes the surrounding hydrogen gas to ionize, leading to the emission of light in specific wavelengths. This phenomenon results in the brilliant, ethereal appearance of the nebula.
NGC 6823 and its associated nebula serve as a remarkable example of the dynamic processes unfolding in our galaxy. The open cluster's massive stars play a vital role in sculpting the surrounding interstellar environment, triggering the formation of new stars and shaping the landscape of the cosmos. Observing this celestial pair provides astronomers with valuable insights into the life cycles of stars and the intricate interplay between these cosmic entities within our Milky Way galaxy.
Photographed from Bamberg, Germany under Bortle 5 conditions.