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Heart and Soul Nebulae

The Heart and Soul Nebulae are a pair of emission nebulae that make up a larger star forming complex located about 6,000 light years away in the Perseus arm of the Milky Way, towards the constellation Cassiopeia. Together they are about 300 light years across.

In this image, the rightmost nebula is IC 1805, the Heart Nebula, while IC 1848, the Embryo Nebula, W5, or the Soul Nebula takes the left. Radiation and stellar winds from the young stars forming within the regions are responsible for blowing out the holes and crevices in the surrounding material. The energy from these stars also ionizes surrounding hydrogen, causing the nebulae to glow red.

Image from National Geographic, information from NASA and NASA.

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