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IC 1871 and Sharpless 2-201

This is a two panel mosaic of this gorgeous region in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Extremely active star birth activity is sculpting these clouds of gas and dust in complex ways. IC 1871, the brilliant area near center, is being battered by radiation from the bright stars at the center of the cavity to its right, as well as another group of stars off the left side of the frame. both clusters are shaping the pillars around them, which point more or less toward their respective sources of radiation.


Sharpless 2-201 is the butterfly shaped object to the extreme right of the image. Also, note the beautiful pearl near the left edge. This little bubble actually isn't so little. It's a couple of light years in diameter!


This is the result of more than 32 hours of imaging, acquired on eight nights stretching from mid-October to mid-December.


Image data acquired at Sugar Grove Observatory, a facility of Twin City Amateur Astronomers (

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Uploaded on December 19, 2014