Telescope/Mount:Celestron Compustar C14 with Astrophysics 0.75x focal reducer (f/8.3); Camera: SBIG STL 11000M with Baader Planetarium H-alpha, R, G, and B. Filters. Exposures: Ha:R:G:B= 540:90:80:80=13 hours, 10 minutes total exposure.
LocationPommier Observatory, Portland, OR, USA.
Melotte-15 is the star cluster at the heart of the Heart Nebula. It is an OB 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 region that is the Heart Nebula. The winds have also sculpted the dust clouds, within which other stars are still forming, into interesting columns and shapes, analogous to the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula