NGC 1499 - The California Nebula in Perseus


Copyright 2008 Hap Griffin

Known as NGC 1499, the California Nebula is so named because of its loose resemblance to the shape of the state.  Radiation from the hot blue-white main sequence star Xi Persei, shown at the right, causes this huge cloud of hydrogen to fluoresce.  This emission nebula covers a large patch of sky over two degrees long and is sometimes faintly visible to the naked eye from very dark locations.  It lies at a distance of 1000 light years.



Date/Location:    December 22, 2008     Griffin/Hunter Observatory    Bethune, SC
Instrument:    Canon 40D Digital SLR (modified) through Takahashi FSQ-106N on AP-1200 mount 
Focal Ratio:   F/5
Guiding:    Auto via SBIG ST-402 through Orion 10" Newtonian
Conditions:    Visually clear and cold - sky glow from moisture visible
Weather:    20 F
Exposure: 165 minutes @ ISO 800 (53 x 3 min exposures) 
Filters:    Baader UV/IR Block internal to camera
Processing:    Focused and captured with ImagesPlus v3.50a Camera Control.  RAW to TIFF conversion, frame calibrations, alignment, Digital Development with ImagesPlus v3.50a.  Final tweaking in Photoshop CS3.