The heart of the Heart (Melotte-15)
This is the core part of the Heart Nebula (IC 1805, Sharpless 2-190).
The clearest part of the picture is called Melotte-15. It's an open cluster of stars, contains a few bright stars nearly 50 times the mass of our Sun, and many more dim stars that are only a fraction of our Sun's mass. The complete nebula is driven by the radiation emanating from this small group of stars.
I've always been overwhelmed by these dust pillars with their energetic light and winds eroding form the open star cluster Melotte 15.
The Heart Nebula is located about 7,500 light years away.
Thiss picture has a total integration time of 57 hours acquired with narrow band and rgb filters (SHOrgb).
The Hubble narrow band palette was used with the nebula and the stars are captured in natural rgb broadband.