Once again the diminutive FOV of my system does not lend itself to extended objects. Thus, it does not do the Heart Nebula justice. In fact this image only shows the central part of the heart shaped portion of IC 1805. However, it does show the small very young cluster of stars (Melotte 15) that ‘lights up’ the nebula. Several of the stars have estimated masses in excess of 50 times that of the Sun and it is those stars whose extreme output provides the energy to excite the surrounding hydrogen cloud into emitting the familiar red light. The energy is also what is sculpting the surrounding cloud into the fanciful shapes visible in the image.
This image is taken through a Hydrogen-Alpha filter that limits the light passing through to that with a wavelength of 656.28 nm. In addition to distinctly showing where the energized hydrogen is located, it also is one way to limit the effect of a nearly full Moon and common light pollution. This image was taken on a full Moon night.