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NGC 7023 "The Iris Nebula"

About this object

Sometimes called the Iris Nebula, NGC 7023 is about 6 light-years across, and 1,300 light-years away. Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a massive, hot, young star in its formative years. Central filaments of cosmic dust glow with a reddish photo-luminesence, as some dust grains effectively convert the star's invisible ultraviolet radiation to visible red light. Yet the dominant color of the nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Dark, obscuring clouds of dust and cold molecular gas are also present and can lead the eye to see other convoluted and fantastic shapes. Infrared observations indicate that this nebula may contain complex carbon molecules known as PAHs.
There is also an open cluster of stars associated with NGC 7023, known as Collinder 427. This loose open cluster is located on the west side of the reflection nebula, within the dark region above the "petal" structure of the Iris.
This image was taken with a Canon 60Da DSLR from the dark skies of Likely CA. For a larger image click here:
Iris For a list of objects within this field of view click here: Iris annotated
Image Details

  • Optics : Canon 70-200mm f4 L lens at f5
  • Mount: Astrotrac portable pier system
  • Camera: Canon 60Da
  • Filters: None
  • Exposure: 18@ 4min
  • Camera/Mount Control: Interval Timer
  • Processing: PixInsight
  • Location: Stellarvue Dark Sky Party, Likely, CA
  • Date: 4 July 13
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