Daily telescope: colorful heart with blue heart

Zoom in / Heart Nebula.

Paul McLean

Welcome to Daily Telescope. There is too little darkness in this world and not enough light, too little pseudoscience and not enough science. We’ll let the other posts provide your daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we’ll take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe full of stars and wonders.

Good morning. It’s December 7, and today’s image takes us towards the famous Cassiopeia constellation. One of the most colorful features in this constellation is the Heart Nebula, also known as the Running Dog Nebula, because I’ll let you discover that for yourself.

The nebula itself is located about 7,500 light-years from Earth. It’s also quite large, extending two degrees out of the night sky, or an area larger than that covered by the Moon. The shape of the Heart Nebula is driven by the massive stars in its core, with the blue colors produced by oxygen and ionized sulfur.

The image comes from Paul McLean, who captured 72 hours of imaging data from his backyard in Indiana before processing it. The image combines four separate mosaics: sulfur II (dark red), hydrogen alpha (red-orange), oxygen III (blue), and hydrogen beta (dark blue). It’s clearly been produced with love.

source: Paul McLean

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