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Eye of Cepheus

The space between stars is not a perfect vacuum. Instead there is tiny amounts of dust and gas between them. Given enough time these gas and dust clouds eventually collect into nebulosity's - forming huge clouds that are so large that light takes years to travel from one end of the cloud to the other. One such nebula among countless others is the Iris Nebula (NGC 7023). More specifically it is a bright reflection nebula in the constellation of Cepheus. Multiple dark nebulae surround this object. The bright +7.4 magnitude star in the middle designated SAO 19158 illuminates these glowing dust petals which reach six light-years across.


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