The burning "soul" of a nebula is highlighted in this spectacular night sky photograph.
The Soul Nebula, or IC 1848, is a large star-forming region located about 6,500 light-years away. This emission nebula spans 100 light-years in the constellation Cassiopeia and is often pictured next to its neighbor, the Heart nebula.
Astrophotographer Bob Andersson captured this image from the Cotswolds, United Kingdom, in September 2012. The image was released after processing in April 2013. He used a TEC 140 telescope, FLI CenterLine filter wheel and ML16803 camera with an ASA DDM60 Pro mount to capture the image. [50 Amazing Nebula Photos]
Several small open star clusters are located in the nebula as well as a large radio source known as W5. This area has massive open cavities carved out from radiation by dust and winds from the region’s stars. In this image, the nebula is glowing red due to excited hydrogen gas.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.