Mountain Nebulae (IC59 &IC63)

Not that pretty a picture as a very bright star just off the edge of this frame (Gamma Cassiopeia) creates a distortion in this image in form of a green-blue spotlight. But, if you can ignore that, you will see two cosmic mountains. (There is no name assigned to these nebulae, but, I chose these names as they look like 2 mountains).

The mountain on the right-top (IC63) is an emission nebula, as it is ionized (process where the heat of the nearby hot star strips off the electrons from the hydrogen atoms and when it recombines with the base atom, it releases a photon i.e. light) by the nearby hot star Gamma Cassiopeia. On the other hand, the dimmer bluish mountain (IC59) on top-left is a reflection nebula as the gas therein is further away from the hot star for ionization, but, close enough to the star to get lighted just as our sky gets lighted by the Sunlight.

It is estimated that IC59 is about 3-4 light years from Gamma Cassiopeia and IC63 is about half that distance. Both these nebulae and Gamma Cassiopeia are about 600 light years away toward the constellation of Cassiopeia.

I took this image over 10.5 hours (21 images of 20 minutes and color images of 7 each of 3 colors of 10 minutes each).


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