Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona (http://skycenter.arizona.edu/gallery/Nebulae/IC417)
IC 417 (also known as Sh2-234) is an emission nebula of almost 100 light-years across, located some 10,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Auriga (the Charioteer). It is often referred to as the Spider Nebula and in that case its prey is a nearby emission nebula called the Fly (NGC 1931).
The nebula contains a young open cluster of about 40 stars, and is energized by its hot, massive blue stars which are still embedded in glowing hydrogen gas. The bluish clouds of gas at the top of the image are locations of new star formation.
This image was taken in November 2013 with an SBIG STX16803 CCD Camera on the 32-inch Schulman Telescope (RCOS) at the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter, using Astrodon Gen II Filters.
Exposure LRGB = 7:2:2:2 Hours. Guest Astronomer: William Buck