GALLERY: The heart and soul of our galaxy
In swirling clouds of hydrogen, helium and oxygen, nebulae form our galaxy’s “heart and soul”. All of these elements combine and attract each other to forge together and create stars.
As well as being baby star factories, nebulae come in fantastic shapes and colours. ‘Pareidolia’ is a human tendency to see faces and other shapes where there are none – like what you do when cloud watching. These cosmic clouds also take on a number of recognisable shapes, including two of the best recognised, nicknamed the Heart and Soul nebulae.
Anne Johnston spoke to astrophotographer Terry Hancock about his passion for these cosmic beauties.
February 9, 2016
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The Heart Nebula, appropriately named for its shape, is located in the constellation Cassiopeia, named after the mythological Greek queen who always boasted of her beauty.