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NGC 7380 (Open cluster and nebula in Cepheus)

Mosaic of two fields, each 15 minutes total exposure, cropped to a field of view of 20'x12'.

Star cluster and associated nebulosity NGC 7380 in Cepheus, located about 2.5 east of Delta Cep was inadvertently imaged during an unsuccessful attempt to recover NEO 2006 TB on 22 July 2008.

The NEO was predicted to be as faint as magnitude +20.5 and with an uncertainty area (or Line of Variation) on the sky of about 11 and moving through rich star fields of the Milky Way it was not surprising that it was not located.

Dark areas of nebulosity are silhouetted against brighter parts illuminated by nearby stars. Radiation from the stars sculpts columns similar to those imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope in M16 (see here).

A small area just left of centre of the black & white image above is enlarged x3.4 and compared to a high resolution colour image taken with a 20" Ritchey-Chretien at Kitt Peak:
A finger-like column protrudes west of a larger darker cloud, the edges illuminated by nearby stars further west.

See the full sized colour image of NGC 7380 here from the Kitt Peak Advanced Observing Program, by Kris Sandburg and Peter Jacobs / Adam Block / NOAO / AURA / NSF


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