IC1848 - Part of the Heart and Soul Nebula

Camera: SBIG ST2000XM with FLI CFW-2-7 Filter Wheel

Mount: Losmandy G-11/Gemini

Scope: Takahashi Epsilon E-160

Colors: Ha

Exposure Time: 240 minutes

Post-Production: MaxIm DL and Photoshop CS3

How do stars form? Massive stars near the centre of empty cavities are older than stars near the edges. A likely reason for this is that the older stars in the centre are actually triggering the formation of the younger edge stars. The triggered star formation occurs when hot outflowing gas compresses cooler gas into knots dense enough to gravitationally contract into stars. Spectacular pillars, left slowly evaporating from the hot outflowing gas, provide further visual clues. IC 1848, together with IC 1805 form a complex region of star formation popularly dubbed the Heart and Soul Nebulae. The above image highlights a part of IC1848 that is rich in star forming pillars. It lies about 6,500 light years away toward the constellation of Cassiopeia.

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