IC 1848 -- Embryo Nebula & Associated Open Clusters in Cassiopeia
Embryo Nebula & Three Open Clusters
To enter the realm of the Heart and Embryo nebulae in the eastern corner of Cassiopeia
is not a simple task for a visual traveler. The complexity of nebulosity can only be seen by
using CCD-cameras that collect light over an extended period. Both the Heart Nebula
and the Embryo Nebula have given birth to young bright stars that overshadow the faint
nebula when seen visually through the telescope.
The Embryo Nebula (also known as the Soul Nebula) and its accompanied three Open
Clusters (Collinder 32, 33 & 34) are lumped together under the designation IC 1848. I
have circled the three Open Clusters in the drawing as they are delineated in most
modern star atlases. However, their history is contorted and there is much disagreement
as to their true sizes or locations. The best source for the history of argument on these
clusters can be found in Archinal & Hynes’ STAR CLUSTERS pages 134 and 135.
However, be forewarned that the placement of the clusters in this classic book on star
clusters does not agree with the more accepted arrangement that I have drawn.
I found the Embryo Nebula a bit easier to find in my 155mm refractor from my backyard
than the nearby Heart Nebula. Unlike the Heart Nebula, which responded only to the UHC
nebula filter, the Embryo Nebula also responded, in part, to a Hydrogen-beta nebula filter.
Still the Embryo Nebula will not jump out at you, so a little time and patience will likely be