IC 1805 - The Heart Nebula, is also classified in the Sharpless catalog as Sh2-190. It lies at an approximate distance of 2,500 lightyears in the constellation Cassiopeia. It is a HII region of gas and dust that is illuminated by young massive stars in an open cluster located in the center of the nebula. This cluster is designated Melotte 15 and contains a few stars with masses almost 50 times the mass of our Sun. The intense radiation and stellar winds of these stars are the major sources shaping the features, columns, and pillars of this impressive celestial vista.
The image above was captured using Ha (Hydrogen Alpha) and OIII (Doubly Ionized Oxygen) narrowband filters. The image was assembled by mapping Ha to red and OIII to green and blue. This produces a near true color image. A full narrowband version (Hubble Palette Colors) of the image may be viewed here.