NGC1499 California emission nebula is so (apparently) large, that it did not fit to any field of view of my “large” imaging setups. So I decided to capture it with my travel wide field setup during this holidays. I thought there is not much else in this area except of the California itself. But once I stacked RGB channels only I “found out” that there are some dark dust clouds in the background. So I decided to collect more luminance photons to reveal them more. I was able to capture 90 minute of luminance before the session end, but this area would definitely require more exposure time to show it better.

California nebula is almost 2.5 degrees long (so five times more than apparent Moon diameter). It is placed about 1000 light years away and is excited to shine by nearby O7 type star – Menkib (bright blue blob below the nebula). This star is pretty young – its age is estimated for 400,000 years. About 100,000 years ago Menkib met the hydrogen cloud, started to shine into it and that’s how California appeared.

There are also few other objects recorded at the picture. Few dark clouds from LDN and Dobashi catalogues. At upper right you may notice some small reflection nebula – it is vdB24 that surrounds young Herbig Haro star XY Persei. IC351 is tiny green planetary nebula that was also recorded, although you will need sky atlas to find it in the picture 🙂

NGC1499 California emission nebula
NGC1499 California emission nebula

Large version

Clear skies!

Image technical data: 

Date: August, 19 2018 
Location: Odargowo, Poland 
Telescope: Samyang 135/2 @ f/2.8 
Corrector: none 
Camera: QHY163M, gain 100 
Mount: iOptron SmartEQ Pro 
Guiding: 50mm guidescope + ASI290MM 
Exposure: LRGBH 180:60:40:50 x 30 seconds, 15 x 120 seconds 
Conditions: transparency good