Soul Nebula (IC 1848)

IC 1848
IC 1848: Seelennebel in Cassiopeia; Takahashi FSQ-106 f=530 mm; Moravian G3-16200; AOK V12Direct Drive; HII/HAlpha 41×20 min; SII 61×20 min; OIII 73×20 min; -30°C; Observatory Mirasteilas, Falera; © 2018 Hansjörg Wälchli [46]


American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard discovered this nebula photographically and notified Dreyer directly, which included it as IC 1848 in his «Second Index Catalogue» published in 1910. The IC description reads: «Cluster, faint stars, extends 8' following, in faint nebulosity.» [315, 364]

IC 1848 was nicknamed the «Soul Nebula» because of the neighbouring nebula IC 1805. Both are often referred to as the «Heart and Soul Nebula» when depicted in wide-field images. Another common nickname is «Baby Nebula», as it resembles a baby in shape.

Physical Properties

The Heart (IC 1805) and Soul (IC 1848) nebulae are part of the Cas OB6 Association, a sprawling complex of gas, dust and massive O- and B-class stars in the Perseus Arm. [364] Simbad lists distances ranging from ~1.7 kpc to ~6.1 kpc. [145]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Name RA Dec Type bMag vMag B-V SB Dim PA z D(z) MD Dreyer Description Identification, Remarks
IC 1848 02 51 18.0 +60 24 30 OCL (IV3pn) 6.5 18 2.002 Cl, st F, extends 8m f, in F neby OCL 364; LBN 667
IC 1871 02 57 21.7 +60 40 20 EN 2.000 * 9.3 nebs, chiefly f LBN 675

Finder Chart

The Soul Nebula is located in the constellation Cassiopeia. In Central Europe it is circumpolar. The best time to observe, however, is July to January, when the constellation is highest at night. About 2.5 degrees further west is the Heart Nebula (Sh 2-199 with cluster IC 1805).

Finder Chart Soul Nebula (IC 1848)
Soul Nebula (IC 1848) in constellation Cassiopeia. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

Objects Within a Radius of 15°