Heart of the Heart Nebula (IC 1805), Melotte-15

Rod Pommier
Location of photo
Pommier Observatory, Portland, OR, USA
Date/Time of photo
2012-10-18 through 2013-10-28
Telescope/Mount:Celestron Compustar C14 with Astrophysics 0.75x focal reducer (f/8.3); Camera: SBIG STL 11000M with Baader Planetarium H-alpha, R, G, and B. Filters. Exposures: Ha:R:G:B= 540:90:80:80=13 hours, 10 minutes total exposure
Melotte-15 is the star cluster at the heart of the Heart Nebula. It is an OB association of very young hot blue supergiant stars that is only 1.5 million years old. Fierce stellar winds from this cluster have blown the enormous bubble within the parent HII nebula that is the heart nebula. The winds have also sculpted the dust clouds within which other stars are forming into interesting columns and shapes, analogous to the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula