NGC 7822 is a young star forming complex in the constellation of Cepheus.
What is NGC 7811?
The NGC 7811 complex encompasses the emission region designated Sharpless 171, and the young cluster of stars named Berkeley 59. The complex is believed to be some 800-1000 pc distant, with the younger components aged no more than a few million years. The complex also includes one of the hottest stars discovered within 1 kpc of the Sun, namely BD+66 1673, which is an eclipsing binary system consisting of an O5V that exhibits a surface temperature of nearly 45000 K and a luminosity ~100000 times that of the Sun. The star is one of the primary sources illuminating the nebula and shaping the complex’s famed pillars of creation-type formations, the elephant trunks.
Elephant trunk is a term used to describe certain formations of interstellar matter found in space. More formally, scientists refer to them as cold molecular pillars, referring to their existence in molecular clouds. They are located in the neighborhood of massive O type and B type stars, which, through their intense radiation, can create expanding regions of ionized gas known as H II regions. Elephant trunks resemble massive pillars or columns of gas and dust, but they come in various shapes, lengths, and colors. Astronomers study elephant trunks because of their unique formation process and use 2-D and 3-D simulations to try to understand how this phenomenon occurs.
Image: Davide De Martin & the ESA / ESO / NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator
Text: Wikipedia contributors. “NGC 7822.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Jul. 2017. Web.9 Aug. 2017. & Wikipedia contributors. “Elephant trunk (astronomy).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 Jul. 2017. Web. 9 Aug. 2017.