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Like delicate cosmic petals, these clouds of interstellar dust and gas have blossomed 1300 light-years away in the fertile star fields of the constellation Cepheus. Sometimes called the Iris Nebula and dutifully cataloged as NGC7023, this is not the only nebula in the sky to evoke the imagery of flowers. Within the Iris, dusty nebular material surrounds a massive, hot, young star in its formative years. Yet the dominant color of the nebula is blue, characteristic of dust grains reflecting starlight. Dark, obscuring clouds of dust and cold molecular gas are also present and can lead the eye to see other convoluted and fantastic shapes.
Image taken with a Canon EOS 20Da camera in prime focus of a professional reflector-telescope at 1290mm f/5.1. Exposure time is 70 minutes !
This is a very deep and real image, so the "noise" in background is no noise, these are very very dim stars again. The image is not overprocessed and sharp. See the spikes on the very bright stars.