The bright star in this image is Gamma Cassiopeia, which is one of the stars that make up the "M" (or "W") shape of the constellation Cassiopeia. Located above and also to the right of the star are faint clouds that make up the Gamma Cass Nebula.
The nebula is visible due to ionization caused by ultraviolet radiation coming from Gamma Cassiopeia. The star and nebula, located about 4 or 5 light years away from each other, are around 550 light years away from us.
Telescope: Orion ShortTube 80
Mount: Vixen Super Polaris
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T3
Filters: Baader Contrast Booster
Processing: Deep Sky Stacker, Photoshop CS6
It seems that I am losing the battle to find time and energy to go out and do anything astronomy-related. The weather has been very uncooperative, with the darkest nights being cloudy or hazy, and the clear nights sporting a bright moon. And, frankly, there is very little appeal to hauling out the equipment, setting up, and bringing it back in after only a couple of hours...usually followed by a workday or a weekend full of commitments.
I think I've pushed the limits of my primitive hardware about as far as it is possible to take it. Clearer, more detailed images will require a hefty investment in one or more new telescopes, imaging filters, a better mount, and a dedicated astrophotography camera. I cannot bring myself to commit money to upgrades if I cannot also guarantee that I will use them. Storage is an issue, too, and at this time I do not want to spend money on an observatory and/or storage shed.