NGC 7822: A Cosmic Question Mark

NGC 7822 Nebula
NGC 7822 Nebula. Credit: Ram Samudrala. License: CC BY 4.0.

NGC 7822, a stunning and awe-inspiring celestial wonder in the shape of a cosmic question mark, is a haven for star formation. With its intricate and mesmerizing features, this astronomical masterpiece is a sight to behold for enthusiasts and experts alike.

In this article, we will delve into the astonishing features of this nebula, exploring its secrets and uncovering the treasures that lie within.

Where Is NGC 7822 Located?

This unique nebula, located in the constellation of Cepheus, has been a subject of intense scrutiny in recent years, as scientists seek to unravel its mysteries and understand its origin and structure. Despite its distance of about 2900 light-years from Earth, NGC 7822 has revealed spectacular beauty to those who have studied it, with its intricate patterns of gas clouds, dust clumps, and stellar winds.

The Structure of NGC 7822

NGC 7822 is actually made up of two major components. A beautiful emission nebula designated as Sharpless 171 and a young cluster of stars named Berkeley 59. The entire complex looks a cosmic question mark. See for yourself below.

NGC 7822 Cosmic Question Mark
NGC 7822 nebula shaped like a cosmic question mark. Credit: Davide De Martin & the ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator. License: CC BY 3.0.

An Abode for Star Formation

Astronomers have discovered that this unique nebula is a haven for star formation and a complex structure that consists of gas clouds, dust clumps, and stellar winds. The most striking feature of this nebula is its intricate network of filaments that extend across the entire region. These filaments are the result of shock waves that have been created by the powerful winds of young stars formed within the nebula.

One of the Hottest Stars in the Orion Arm

In addition, NGC 7822 is home to several massive stars, including one of the hottest stars discovered in the entire Orion Arm or our Milky Way galaxy, namely BD+66 1673. That star is of the O5V type and is part of a binary star system. It has a surface temperature of almost 45,000 K and a luminosity of as much as 100,000 times that of our Sun!


Astronomers have been able to reveal the spectacular beauty of NGC 7822, which has captivated the imagination of many. The region’s stunning visuals and scientific significance make it a must-visit destination for astrophotography enthusiasts. The nebula offers a wealth of opportunities for capturing breathtaking images of the cosmos. Overall, this nebula is a unique and fascinating destination for anyone interested in exploring the marvels of the universe.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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