Melotte 15

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Melotte 15 is the star cluster at the heart of the Heart Nebula. It is an association of very young hot blue supergiant stars that is only 1.5 million years old. Fierce stellar winds from this cluster have blown the enormous bubble within the parent HII nebula that is the heart nebula. The winds have also sculpted the dust clouds into interesting columns and shapes, analogous to the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula. This is a 21 hour narrow band exposure taken in late December 2016 and ending on January 18, 2017 under challenging weather conditions of high humidity and winds. This is actually two images combined into a panorama to show more of the dust clouds in the area.

All images © Mel Martin 2017     Contact Me