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February 22, 2010 - The Heart of the Soul Nebula

The Heart of the Soul Nebula IC 1848 is the designation of a small open star cluster in the constellation Cassiopeia and the emission nebula that surrounds it. Known as the Soul Nebula because a neighboring nebula, IC 1805, is remarkably heart-shaped, IC 1848 is a glowing region of ionized gas where star birth is taking place. This striking image of the center of the Soul Nebula was created by amateur astronomer Antonio Fernandez and is the result of exposures totaling eighteen hours in three different spectral regions (Hydrogen-Alpha, Oxygen-III, and Sulfur-II). Fernandez acquired the data in 30-minute blocks over the course of a month in late 2007 using an 11-megapixel astronomical CCD imager attached to a 10-inch f/3.6 astrograph operated at his home observatory in Madrid, Spain.

Image credit: Antonio Fernandez / www.afernandez.net

Weekly Calendar

February 22-28, 2010

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 22

1966: Cosmos 110 launched, sets record for dogs in space (22 days)
1978: First Navstar GPS satellite launched
1996: STS-75 Columbia launched

Moon phase Tuesday 23

1987: Supernova 1987a explodes
1990: Pioneer 11 leaves solar system
1997: Flash fire in Mir Kvant module

Moon phase Wednesday 24

1968: Discovery of first pulsar announced
1969: Mariner 6 launched
2007Rosetta spacecraft flies by Mars

Moon phase Thursday 25

Moon phase Friday 26

Mars 5° north of Moon

1842: Camille Flammarion born
1966: First Saturn 1B rocket launched

Moon phase Saturday 27

Moon at perigee

1897: Bernard Lyot born
1970: HL-10 sets lifting body altitude record of 90,300 feet

Moon phase Sunday 28

Full Moon 11:38 AM ET
Jupiter in conjunction with Sun

1959: Discoverer 1 launched
1966: Gemini IX primary crew, Bassett & See, killed in plane crash
1990: STS-36 Atlantis launched
2007: New Horizons spacecraft flies past Jupiter en route to Pluto

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.