What blue flower grows in this field of dust?
What blue flower grows in this field of dark interstellar dust? The Iris Nebula. The striking blue color of the Iris Nebula is created by light from the bright star SAO 19158 reflecting off of a dense patch of normally dark dust. Not only is the star itself mostly blue, but blue light from the star is preferentially reflected by the dust — the same effect that makes Earth’s sky blue. The brown tint of the pervasive dust comes partly from photoluminescence — dust converting ultraviolet radiation to red light. Cataloged as NGC 7023, the Iris Nebula is studied frequently because of the unusual prevalence there of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), complex molecules that are also released on Earth during the incomplete combustion of wood fires. The bright blue portion of the Iris Nebula spans about six light years. The Iris Nebula, pictured here, lies about 1300 light years distant and can be found with a small telescope toward the constellation of Cepheus.
The Iris Nebula in Cepheus
|Imaging telescope||Explore Scientific ED 102 APO FCD1|
|Imaging camera||ZWO ASI 1600MM PRO|
|Mount||SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro|
|Guiding||Guidescope 240mm, ZWO ASI 120MM|
|Filter||ZWO Lum 1.25″, ZWO Red 1.25″, ZWO Green 1.25″, ZWO Blue 1.25″|
|Accessories||TS PHOTOLINE x0.80 Reducer/Korrektor|
|Integration||7.6 hours, Lum: 215×90″, Red: 23×120″, Green: 23×120″, Blue: 23×120″|
|Dates of recording||June 1, 2019, June 2, 2019 – ITV Telescope Event Vogelsberg, Gedern, Germany|
IRIS NEBULA PRINT
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