California Nebula

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from NGC 1499)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
California Nebula
Emission nebula
The California Nebula, as taken with an amateur telescope
Observation data: J2000.0 epoch
Right ascension04h 03m 18.00s
Declination+36° 25′ 18.0″
Distance1,000 ly
Apparent magnitude (V)6.0
Apparent dimensions (V)2.5° long
DesignationsNGC 1499, Sharpless 220
See also: Lists of nebulae

The California Nebula (NGC 1499/Sh2-220) is an emission nebula located in the constellation Perseus. Its name comes from its resemblance to the outline of the US State of California in long exposure photographs. It is almost 2.5° long on the sky and, because of its very low surface brightness, it is extremely difficult to observe visually. It can be observed with a Hα filter (isolates the Hα line at 656 nm) or Hβ filter (isolates the Hβ line at 486 nm) in a rich-field telescope under dark skies.[1] It lies at a distance of about 1,000 light years from Earth. Its fluorescence is due to excitation of the Hβ line in the nebula by the nearby prodigiously energetic O7 star, Xi Persei (also known as Menkib, seen at center below it in the inset at right).[2]

The California Nebula was discovered by E. E. Barnard in 1884.

By coincidence, the California Nebula transits in the zenith in central California as the latitude matches the declination of the object.



  1. ^ "The California Nebula". Observing at Skyhound. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  2. ^ "Menkib (Xi Persei)". David Darling. Encyclopedia of Science.

External links[edit]