Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors
Astrophotography © Brian A. Morganti
IC59 & IC63
Emission-Reflection Nebula Complex
The above image was taken over a period of four consecutive nights during a period of clear and rare transparent nights here in southeast Pennsylvania. The image contains the mixed emission and reflection nebulae IC59 (upper right) and IC63 which is located near the center of the image and seemingly pointing at the bright star Gamma Cassiopeia to its lower right. This cometary shape of IC63 was likely formed due to the radiation pressure from this nearby star. This bright star is also known as Navi, which shines at magnitude +2.18 and is the middle star in the well known "W" shape in the constellation of Cassiopeia. The luminosity of this blue-white sub-giant (which is 70.000 times the brightness of our sun!) is responsible for energizing the emission "front" of IC59 & IC63, causing them to glow red in Hydrogen Alpha light. The nebula behind the red emission front is less energetic and simply reflects the blue star light from Gamma Cassiopeia. The overall starscape in this image displays the myriad of stars that populate the Milky Way in this part of the sky.
Astrophotography - Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors