What's California doing in space?
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. On the featured image, the most prominent glow of the California Nebula is the red light characteristic of hydrogen atoms recombining with long lost electrons, stripped away (ionized) by energetic starlight. The star most likely providing the energetic starlight that ionizes much of the nebular gas is the bright, hot, bluish Xi Persei just to the right of the nebula. A regular target for astrophotographers, the California Nebula can be spotted with a wide-field telescope under a dark sky toward the constellation of Perseus, not far from the Pleiades.
The California Nebula in Perseus
|Imaging telescope||Celestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph 8″, Explore Scientific ED80 APO Triplet|
|Imaging camera||ZWO ASI 1600MM PRO|
|Mount|| iOptron CEM60, Skywatcher EQ6R-Pro|
|Guiding||Guidescope 240mm, ZWO ASI 120MM|
|Filter||Baader f/2 Highspeed SHO (each 2″), Baader RGB (2″), Astronomik 6nm SHO (1,25″)|
|Accessories||Starizona Filter Slider, Celestron Focus Motor for SCT|
|Integration||42.0 hours, H-Alpha: 256×120″/90×180″/60×300″ , OIII: 256×120″/24×300″, SII: 93×120″/58×180″/61×300″, Red/Green/Blue each: 100×30″|
|Dates of recording||18 nights from December 2019 till January 2021|
|AstroBin||Link (Download the full resolution image here)|
CALIFORNIA NEBULA PRINT
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