Heart and Soul Nebulae

Heart and Soul Nebulae

Located approximately 6000 light years away from Earth, these two nebulae form a vast star-forming complex, spanning around 300 light years in diameter. As part of the Perseus arm of the Milky Way galaxy, they are rich in interstellar gas and dust, providing a fertile ground for star formation.

The image is a HOO composition, mapping emissions of hydrogen alpha gas to the red channel, while oxygen III emissions are mapped to the green and blue channels. This results in a colorful representation of the nebulae’s different emissions.

At the center of the Heart Nebula (IC 1805), an open cluster of young stars, known as Melotte 15, is located. These stars, some of them up to 50 times more massive than our sun, are ionizing the surrounding gas, causing it to glow.

The nebulae’s proximity to Earth and their richness in star-forming material make them an exciting target for astronomers studying the processes of star birth and evolution.

Exposure: 6hrs 20min


  • Scope: Askar 103APO
  • Lens: Askar 0.6x Reducer
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6Da
  • Filter: Altair Tri-Band
  • Mount: Skywatcher AZ-EQ5 GT
  • Guiding: Svbony SV165 Guide Scope with ZWO ASI 224MC
  • Controller: ZWO ASIAir Pro


  • IC 1795
  • IC 1805
  • IC 1824
  • IC 1848
  • NGC 896
  • NGC 1027
  • Melotte 15