The Cosmic Heart is one of the most beautiful examples of emission nebulae in which glowing ionized hydrogen sculpts blood-red, unimaginably beautiful and at the same time dramatic shapes.
The Heart Nebula, cataloged IC 1805, lies about 7,500 light-years from Earth and lies in the Perseus Arm of the Galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1787. It is an emission nebula showing glowing ionized hydrogen and darker regions of molecular dust.
The brightest part of this nebula (the object in the lower right corner of the image) is separately classified as NGC 896, as it was the first part of the nebula to be discovered by Herschel. The nebula’s intense red color and its dramatic shape are created by strong radiation from a small group of stars near the nebula’s center. This open star cluster known as Melotte 15 contains several bright stars almost 50 times that of our sun.
Photo taken from a private astronomical observatory located several dozen kilometers from Warsaw.