NGC 7023 – Iris Nebula

NGC 7023

Iris Nebula

What blue flower grows in this field of dust?

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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

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Technical card

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ObjectNGC 7023
Imaging telescopeExplore Scientific ED 102 APO FCD1
Imaging cameraZWO ASI 1600MM PRO
Mount SkyWatcher HEQ5 Pro
GuidingGuidescope 240mm, ZWO ASI 120MM
FilterZWO Lum 1.25″,  ZWO Red 1.25″,  ZWO Green 1.25″,  ZWO Blue 1.25″
AccessoriesTS PHOTOLINE x0.80 Reducer/Korrektor
Integration7.6 hours, Lum: 215×90″, Red: 23×120″, Green: 23×120″, Blue: 23×120″
Dates of recordingJune 1, 2019,  June 2, 2019 – ITV Telescope Event Vogelsberg, Gedern, Germany
AstroBinLink

Awards

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AstroBin Image of the Day (06/17/2019) – Link to publication

IRIS NEBULA PRINT

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