The Heart Nebula, like most emission nebulas, is inflated like a bubble by newborn stars in its interior. The ionized clouds are mostly hydrogen, but are also rich in oxygen (blue) and sulphur (red), as well as all of the heavier elements fused in the cores of several generations of stars long dead. The ionized gasses are eroded by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the young star cluster Melotte 15, left of center, formed only 1.5 million years ago.
Date: 6 January 2018 and 16 December 2017, Location: Rennesøy, SW Norway
Telescope: Skywatcher Esprit ED 120 mm f/7 apochromat, Mount: ASA DDM160
Camera: Apogee U16M, CCD temperature -30 C
Exposure time: Ha, OIII, SII 180/100/80 min