California Nebula in Perseus

April 17, 2023



Photographer: Greg Parker 

Summary Author: Greg Parker 

Shown above is the California nebula (NGC 1499) in the constellation of Perseus. This image has been reprocessed to reduce the impact of the stars in the original image. Doing so really makes this nebula "pop." Compare it with the Earth Science Picture of the Day for March 2, 2022.

The California Nebula somewhat resembles the shape of the state of California -- evidently enough to give it its name. It's an emission nebula, lying approximately 1,000 to 1,500 light years from Earth. Xi Persei, the bright star just below NGC 1499 at right center, is sufficiently close to ionize the nebula's hydrogen atoms, giving it a noticeably reddened glow.

Photo details: Photo taken on the Sky90 MiniWASP array at the New Forest Observatory in the fall of 2022. Image consists of 16-hours' worth of 15-minute subs.


New Forest Observatory, U.K. Coordinates: 50.819444, -1.59

Related Links:

Pleiades Star Cluster and California Nebula

Struves Lost Nebula