SBIG ST-4000XCM15x15minImager Temp -20CAPM/TMB 130/780
Full Frame Link to Larger JPEG
At 7500 light years from earth, the star cluster Melotte 15 is the driving force that excites and illuminates the gas and dust of the "Heart Nebula", IC 1805. This open cluster
contains a few bright stars
nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun
, many dim stars only a fraction of the mass of our Sun, and an absent microquasar
that was expelled millions of years ago.
The cluster was named for it's discoverer, Philibert Jacques Melotte
(1880 - 1961).
November 11, 2009