Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
Cederblad 214 Bright Nebula (NGC7822)
Pillars of Cepheus
Pillars of gas, dust, and hot young stars fill the center of NGC 7822 which lies at an estimated distance between 2800 and 3000 light years from Earth. Stars could still be forming inside the pillars by gravitational collapse, but the pillars are slowly eroding away and any forming stars will ultimately be cut off from their reservoir of star forming matter. The dark towers of the pillars are sculpted by the outflow of stellar winds from the hot young star cluster Berkeley 59 located to the upper right of the above image.
The bright star near the center of the image is +5.69 magnitude HR9104, an orange giant with a luminosity equal to 60.2 suns! The field of view of the image spans approximately 53 light-years, and the "elephant trunk" pillars average 4 light-years in length with each containing a mass of dust and gas equivalent to dozens of suns.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors