IC 1805 -- Heart Nebula & Associated Open Clusters in Cassiopeia
Heart Nebula & Two 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 Heart Nebula and its accompanied Open Cluster Melotte 15 are lumped together under
the designation IC 1805. Just to the east of IC 1805 is the Open Cluster NGC 1027 which is
old enough to have shed its creation nebula and now lies outside of the Heart Nebula that
once produced it.
The two open clusters are easy targets in the 155mm refractor but the Heart Nebula proper
proved to be a real challenge from my suburban backyard. Even with a nebula filter I was
only able to detect a small portion of the Heart Nebula near the brighter stars of Melotte 15.
Most of the nebula was well beyond my reach.