(via APOD: 2012 September 29 - NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula)
Out 1,300 light-years, in the direction of Cepheus, the King (who really looks like a kid’s drawing of a house, but don’t mention it to him), is a molecular cloud that may have PAHs, complex carbon molecules. We know for sure, though, that it has given birth to a bright young star, powering this nebula’s glow. The majority is blue, reflected starlight bouncing off the dust and heading our way. However, you can see lovely faint lines of red, where we see evidence of the ultraviolet radiation from the star ionizing hydrogen in the surrounding gas and dust. When it de-ionized, the hydrogen releases a red-wavelength photon.
Gorgeous and scientific all at once, much like its eponymous flower.