The Iris Nebula

NGC 7023: The Iris Nebula, Image Credit & Copyright: Jim Misti (acquisition), Robert Gendler (processing)

The Iris Nebula gets its name from the similarity to the flower of the same name.

The blue color comes from the star: HD 200775, a massive and very hot young star scattering off dust grains.

Located in the constellation Cepheus this bright (mag 6.8) nebula also known as Caldwell 4 and NGC 7023 is about 398 parsecs / 1,300 light-years distant.

I believe this was acquired using Spitzer and the processing was done by the great (IMHO) Robert Gendler.

The nebula has been the subject of study by Astrobiologists at the NASA Ames Research Center:

Astrobiologists at NASA Ames Research Center funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute have recently published a study on the analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, or PAH’s, in the Iris Nebula. Their analyses of individual PAH spectra have allowed them to see how different types of PAH’s map to different areas of the nebula, and also how PAH behavior changes with respect to changes in the local environment.

 

Source: [The Astrophysical Journal]