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Friday, February 17, 2012

The California Nebula, NGC 1499, with some new data

I shot about 5h new H-a data for the NGC 1499 in this Autumn, 2011, with Canon EF 200mm f1.8, full open, and a QHY9 cooled astronomical camera. All the exposures, I have taken for this object bettween years 2008-2011, are now used. Total exposure time is over 26h together for all three channels, Ionized Sulfur, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Two camera lenses was used to capture the data, a Tokina AT 300mm f2.8 and a Canon EF 200mm f1.8, both was used at full aperture. An extra detail, at bright central area, is shot with a longer focal length instrument, Meade LX200 GPS 12" at f5. Exposure time for central detail was about 10h, at top of the total 26h exposure time.

NGC 1499, in Perseus
Ra 04h 03m 18s Dec +36° 25′ 18″

Natural color composition from the emission of ionized elements, R=80%Hydrogen+20%Sulfur, G=100%Oxygen and B=85%Oxygen+15%Hydrogen to compensate otherwise missing H-beta emission. This composition is very close to a visual spectrum.

The California Nebula is an emission area located in constellation Perseus. It appears to resemble outlines of State of California on long exposure photographs, like this one. It has a very low surface brightness and it's very difficult to observe visually. Distance from my home town Oulu, Finland, is about 1000 light years.
this image spans about five degrees. The Wikipedia article states, that the angular size is about 2,5 degrees (Five full Moons side by side) but as can be seen in this image, the actual size, with a dim outer parts, is much large.

HST-palette, (HST=Hubble Space Telescope) from the emission of ionized elements, 
R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.

A study about the apparent scale in a sky

This is a large object, note, the size of the Moon is marked, as a scale, in all of the images above.


Experimental 3D-studies of NGC1499 can be found in my portfolio, in different formats.
Please, have a look here:

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