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This image was obtained with the wide-field view of the Mosaic Camera on the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. NGC 7023, also known as the Iris Nebula because of its flower-like shape, is a bright reflection nebula. The bluish glow of the nebula comes from a hot, massive star at the center of the nebula, named HD 200775. Blue light from the star is scattered off dust grains in the nebula, giving it its distinctive color. The dust can also be seen on the outer portions of the nebula, where it has a faint brownish color and blocks out stars behind it. It was observed in the filters B (blue), V (green), R (orange) and Hydrogen-Alpha (red). The image is rotated 30 degrees CCW from North is up, East is to the left.
Image Credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF
Image enhancement: Jean-Baptiste Faure