California Nebula (NGC 1499)

March 02, 2022


Photographer: Greg Parker

Summary Authors: Greg Parker; Cadan Cummings

The photo above shows the California nebula (NGC 1499) located in the constellation Perseus. As its name implies, the shape of California nebula roughly resembles the U.S. state. The emission nebula is approximately 1,000 to 1,500 light years from Earth. Visible below NGC 1499 is the star Xi Persei, which ionizes the nebula's hydrogen atoms and gives the feature its iconic glow.

Photo Details: I processed this image from Deep Sky Survey (DSS2) data which is available online. Image was processed from red and blue data channels with a synthesized green channel. Noel Carboni's Astronomy Actions automate this process in Photoshop.