Super image of Collinder 26 – the heart of the Heart Nebula (IC1805) in the constellation Cassiopeia; aptly taken by member and trustee Simon Dawes on the 14th February 2023.
The Heart Nebula’s intense red output and its form are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula’s center. This open cluster of stars, known as Collinder 26 or Melotte 15, contains some stars that are 50 times the mass of our Sun.
The Collinder catalogue is a catalogue of 471 open clusters compiled by Swedish astronomer Per Collinder.
Details of how Simon obtained the image are on the photo.