BACKYARD SPACE IN JOHNSTON: NGC 1499, The California Nebula


In the constellation Perseus lies an emission nebula stretching 100 light-years long. The California Nebula gets is name from its similar shape to the State of California and was discovered by E. E. Bernard in 1884.

It lies roughly 1,000 light-years from Earth and has a low surface brightness which can make it tough to observe visually.

The H-alpha and H-beta gasses that make up the nebula are illuminated by a nearby energetic O7 Star, Xi Persei. Under dark skies and an H-alpha filter you may be able to observe with a rich-field telescope.

This image was a composite of two images stitched together to create a two-panel mosaic. The California nebula is far too big for my telescopes field of view that I had to take it in two separate frames!

Each panel contains 65 images that were stacked and processed in an astronomical editing software then stitched together to create this panoramic image of NGC 1499. This Image was taken back in January 2021 from my Backyard in Johnston.

Gear Used:

  • Imaging telescopes or lenses: William Optics Zenith 73 II
  • Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI533MC-Pro
  • Mounts: Celestron Advanced Avx
  • Guiding telescopes or lenses: William Optics 50mm Guidescope rotolock William Optics 50mm F/4 Guide Scope
  • Guiding cameras: ZWO ASI120MM-Mini ASI120MM-Mini
  • Focal reducers: Williams Optics Flat73A
  • Software: Adobe Phosotshop CC   NINA 10.1  ·  Sharpcap  ·  PHD2 Guiding 2.62 PHD2.62  ·  Siril 0.9.10Windows  ·  Deek Sky Stacker
  • Filters: Optolong Lextreme
  • Dates:Jan. 7, 2021
  • Frames: 62x180" (3h 6')
  • Integration: 3h 6'
  • Moon age: 23.32 days
  • Moon phase: 37.67%

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lucas “Luc” Maguire captured this image from his backyard in Johnston. He will be submitting his deep space images to the Sun Rise for publication each week. Maguire’s photography can also be found at his Instagram account @oceanstateastro and his Twitter feed @OceanStateAstro.


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