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September Saturday 24, 2016 at 14:35
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Thisrich starfield spans almost 10 degrees across the sky towardthe northern constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus.On the left, heart-shaped cosmic cloud IC 1805 and IC 1848 arepopularly known as the Heartand Soul nebulae .Easy to spot on the right are star clusters NGC 869 and NGC 884also known as h and Chi Perseii, or just the Double Cluster.Heart and Soul, with their own embeddedclusters of young stars a million or so years old,are each over 200 light-years across and 6 to 7 thousand light-years away.In fact, they are part of a large, active star forming complex sprawlingalong the Perseus spiral arm of our Milky Way Galaxy.The Double Cluster is located at about the same distanceas the Heart and Soul nebulae.Separated by only a few hundred light-years, h and Chi Perseii are physically close together, and both clusters are estimatedto be about 13 million years old.Their proximity and similar stellar ages suggest bothclusters are likely a product of the same star-forming region.


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