|Bubble Nebula and M52 Open Cluster
Celestial conflict is evident in this image of the Open Cluster M52 and the Bubble Nebula, in the constellation Cassiopeia. The M52 cluster exudes order, with hundreds of relatively uniform young stars
forming together about 20 million years ago from a larger and now dissipated cloud of gas and dust. In counterpoint, the Bubble Nebula is a younger cloud of gas and dust torn asunder by a rare brilliant hot
star, called a Wolf-Rayet star. Gas streaming outward from the massive central star simultaneously distrupts the cloud but also compresses the cloud in some areas, accelerating starbirth and possibly
formation of planets! The two objects are at similar distances from Earth: M52 at 5,100 light years and the Bubble Nebula at 7,100 light years away.
IMAGE DATA: The image above used a TEC140 F/7 refractor, QSI-583 CCD camera, RRGB with exposures of 90, 40, and 30 minutes, respectively, all unbinned, with 10 minute subexposures, at the
Hidden Lake Observatory. The image below was obtained 6 years earlier from a light polluted suburb, with a 4" Astro-Physics F/6 refractor, SBIG ST10XME CCD camera, LRGB image with exposures of
75, 15, 15, and 18 minutes, respectively, for a total imaging time of just over 2 hours. The Luminance images used the IDAS filter, and were unbinned. The red, green, and blue images were binned 2x2.
Each individual image was 3 minutes.
Music: Strangers in the night