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NGC 7129 and NGC 7142

 

NGC 7129 and NGC 7142

 

In the constellation Cepheus lie dusty reflection nebula NGC 7129 (slightly above and to the right of the center, sometimes called the "Rosebud Nebula") and open star cluster NGC 7142 (slightly below and to the left of the center). They are separated by only half a degree on the sky, but they actually lie at quite different distances. The nebula NGC 7129 is about 3,300 light-years distant, while open cluster NGC 7142 is likely over 6,000 light-years away. NGC 7142 is thought to be an older open star cluster, while the bright stars embedded in NGC 7129 are perhaps a million years young. Most noticeable in the image are the bluish dust clouds of NGC 7129, which reflect the young starlight. But there are also compact, deep red shapes present within the nebula, these are markers of energetic, young stellar objects, known as Herbig-Haro objects. Their shape and color is characteristic of glowing hydrogen gas shocked by jets streaming away from newborn stars.

There is some faint brownish-colored background structure visible scattered over the whole image, most noticeable in-between NGC 7129 and NGC 7142. This is part of an expansive complex of dim and relatively unexplored diffuse molecular clouds known as "Galactic Cirrus". They are commonly found at high galactic latitudes and can be traced over large regions towards the North and South Galactic poles.

Cepheus/Cassiopeia Border Region, telelens photograph.


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© 2018 Walter Koprolin