NGC 7380 – The Wizard

NGC 7380 (Sh2-142), more commonly called The Wizard Nebula due to it vaguely resembling Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore and his ilk, was first discovered by Caroline Herschel, sister of German-born British astronomer Sir William Herschel, in 1787. William included it in his famous catalog as H VIII.77. The Wizard is about 7,200 light years from Earth within our own Milky Way Galaxy, is one of the larger nebulae in Cepheus, and is moving toward us at 34.13 kilometers per second. The gas and dust within the cluster span about 110 light years across. This kind of nebulae are the birthplace of stars. They are formed when very diffuse molecular clouds begin to collapse under their own gravity, often due to the influence of a nearby supernova explosion. The cloud collapses and fragments, sometimes forming hundreds of new stars. The newly-formed stars ionize the surrounding gas to produce an emission nebula. In this case, the stars of NGC 7380 have emerged from its natal cloud some 5 million years or so ago, making it a relatively young cluster. 

ps. William Herschel discovered infrared light in 1800. He was a stud.

NGC 7380
NGC 7380 – The Wizard Nebula