NGC 7023 – The Iris Nebula

The Iris Nebula is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Cepheus. The nebula is lit by the bright star in the center.

NGC 7023 is roughly 1,300 light years away and 6 light years across, which means these images are capturing the cluster as how it appeared 1,300 years ago

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NGC 7380 – The Wizard Nebula

NGC 7380, located in the constellation Cepheus, is an open cluster of stars energizing the remaining gas and dust in the surrounding area. Over the next 100 million years, the nebula part of the cluster will eventually dissipate into nothingness, but the remaining stars will most likely last longer than our solar system.

NGC 7380 is 7,200 light years away, which means these images are capturing the cluster as how it appeared 7,200 years ago

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NGC 6888 – The Crescent Nebula

NGC 6888, located in the constellation Cygnus, is an emission nebula. This nebula is lit by a central star within the nebula.

Sometime between 250,000 to 400,000 years ago, this star ejected a stellar shell when it ballooned to a red giant star. Since that time, the central star is nearing the end of it’s life and the stellar winds have greatly increased (now categorized as a Wolf-Rayet star) resulting in another stellar shell.

The two different stellar shells are colliding, creating one outward moving shockwave and one inward moving shockwave. This is why the image appears to have two distinct shells.

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NGC 6888 - Crescent Nebula