Image Credit: Gordon Haynes

This lovely region; IC 1318 - sometimes called the Gamma Cygni nebula - is a picture of stellar beauty -- a fact that is brought to life by the  contrasting hues of green and black that pervade the interstellar medium.

Looking at this image, what stands out the most for you all? If you are like me, the massive star in the center is the most noticeable, but in fact, the star (known as 'Gamma Cygni' or 'Sadr') is not a part of this nebula at all. Instead, it's a foreground star that's located a little more than halfway between the Gamma Cygni region (it can be found at a distance of about 3,000 light-years) and our solar system.

The black regions contain thick concentrations of interstellar dust, while the bright green areas contain gas that is being ionized by the hot ultraviolet radiation streaming from the massive stars within the nebula. Overall, the star-scene covers a full 3 degrees of our night sky, or about the size of six full moons! Also, both the emission nebula IC 1318 and the open star cluster; NGC 6910 — can be seen in this image. All of which, are located in the constellation of Cygnus.


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