NGC 1499 - the California Nebula in Ha
NGC 1499 - the California Nebula in Ha
NGC 1499 - the California Nebula in Ha
The California Nebula, NGC 1499, is a large HII nebula lying in the constellation of Perseus. The nebula is illuminated by the star, Xi Persei (the bright star just below the main nebula). Although most HII nebulae are illuminated by stars that have formed from within the nebula, Xi Persei did not originate from NGC 1499. Rather, Xi Persei is believed to be a star that was ejected from some other grouping and has "collided" with NGC 1499. These types of stars are known as "runaway" stars.

NGC 1499 is located about 1500 light years away from us in the same Orion arm of the Milky Way that contains our Solar System. The nebula itself is about 100 light years long and covers approximately 4 degrees by 1 degree in the sky (about 8 Full Moons by 2 Full Moons). This image has a field of view a little over 6 degrees by 4 degrees and shows some of the faintest outer parts of the nebula.

In this image, North is up.

Exposure Details
Lens Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM
Focal Length 200mm
Focal Ratio f/3.5
Mount Schaefer GEM - 7 1/2 inch Byers gear
Guiding ONAG On-Axis Guider, Lodestar autoguider, PHD Guiding
Camera MonoMods Monochrome Canon 450D by Luis Campos and Gary Honis modified Canon 450D (Baader mod)
Exposure 77 subs of 600 sec @ ISO 1600 (12 5/6 hours) using Astronomik 6nm Ha clip filter
Calibration 30 darks, 30 flats, 30 flat darks, 30 bias
Date January 22 and 25, 2014
Temperature 1/22 - 47F, 1/25 - 44F
SQM Reading 21.35 (Bortle 4) on both nights
Seeing 3/5 on 1/22, 2/5 on 1/25
Location Pine Mountain Club, California
Software Used Images Plus 5.75 for camera control, calibration, stacking, digital development, feature mask, smoothing and noise reduction, line suppression, horizontal banding suppression, and multiresolution sharpening. Photoshop CS5 used for levels and curves, high pass filter, screen mask invert, and unsharp mask. Gradient Xterminator for gradient removal. Focus Magic for focus restoration. Registar for stack alignment and registration.
Notes This is the second object I've imaged with my new Monochrome 450D. I'm very happy with how much of the faintest parts of the nebula I was able to capture as well as the nice contrast between NGC 1499 and the embedded dark nebulae.