NGC 1499 - The California  Nebula -  2/1/2009
Image Capture Details

Optics:  Meade LX200 14 @ F/2 with HyperStar
Mount: Meade
Camera: QHY8
Filters: LPS
Exposure:  120X 30 Seconds =  1 hour
Time: 7:55PM - 10:35 PM EST
Location: Waldwick, NJ
© 2008 David A. Trapani
All Rights Reserved
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About This Photograph

Drifting through the Orion Arm of the spiral Milky Way Galaxy,
this cosmic cloud by chance echoes the outline of California on
the west coast of the United States. Our own Sun also lies
within the Milky Way's Orion Arm, only about 1,500 light-years
from the California Nebula. Also known as NGC 1499, the
classic emission nebula is around 100 light-years long. It glows
with the red light characteristic of hydrogen atoms recombining
with long lost electrons, stripped away (ionized) by energetic
starlight. In this case, the star most likely providing the
energetic starlight is the bright, hot, bluish Xi Persei, just above
and right of the nebula and above picture center.