November 2020 - Picture of the Month
The Soul Nebula (IC 1848) in Cassiopeia
Quite by chance I found that Patrick had chosen an object about two and a half degrees to the north-west of my destination for his column this month. At first I thought "that was close", but similar though the Heart and Soul nebulae are, he has picked out the visual targets in the Heart, whereas I've decided to present the whole of the Soul in narrowband imaged glory!
The Soul Nebula is around 150 light-years wide and 6500 light-years distant. As usual it goes by many names including Westerhout 5, Sharpless 2-199 and of course IC 1848. It's also another example of my love of dust and the resulting star formation which is blowing these spectacular bubbles. It's also home to a large radio source, hence the Westerhout number.
David's image uses the SHaO Hubble palete to bring out the nebula, but with the addition of RGB stars. It comprise 14 hours of narrowband data and 8 hours of LRGB data, a total of 21 hours. This isn't something that you're going to see visually, but as Patrick has shown, some of the clusters are worth a try.
NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) captured an amazing image of the Heart and Soul together in the infrared that's well worth a look.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.