October 2016 - Picture of the Month
NGC 7023 in the Constellation of Cepheus
Image was provided courtesy of Bill Snyder. Please click on the image to be taken to a much larger version on his website. He has much more detail about the image itself.
So after a brief sojourn to galaxies I'm back to a couple of favourites: Cepheus and nebulous open clusters.
The Iris nebula ticks those boxes very nicely, except NGC 7023 is a reflection nebulae surrounding that bright 7th magnitude star in the middle. According to Archinal and Hynes (Star Clusters) there is an open cluster, but it has nothing to do with the nebula.
Collinder 427 is just to the right of NGC 7023 itself in this fabulous image, but that's close enough for me to mention it, though as a poorly detached cluster with relatively few stars it isn't really the highlight here.
However with the advent of the Caldwell Catalogue (NGC7023 is No. 4) it seems that the supposed open cluster surrounding that central star (Collinder 429) might be real again! All very confusing as usual and I'm not going to pretend that I have an answer.
NGC 7023 is frequently imaged, but I think that Bill has framed this subject extremely well and the dust clouds lend great depth. Well worth observing visual with any aperture.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.