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NGC 1435 (2,660 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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Tempel's Nebula

NGC 1435, Magakian 53, VDB 22, Ced 19j, Merope Nebula, Tempel's Nebula, GC 768

RA: 03h 46m 10s
Dec: +23° 45′ 54″

Con: Taurus
Ch: MSA:163, U2:132, SA:4

Ref: [2003A&A...399..141M], Corwin (2004)

(reference key)

Type: reflection nebula

Mag: B=?, V=?

Size: ?
PA: ?

History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

NGC 1435 is the part of the reflection nebula around Merope extending almost directly south by 10 to 15 arcmin from the star. For some time, I had thought that it and IC 349 (which see) are identical. However, reading Barnard's careful observations of the Pleiades in AN 3018 (where he announces the discovery of IC 349), it became clear that the IC object is actually a brighter knot in the larger Merope nebula, and very close to the star itself. Under normal conditions, Merope's light swamps the knot, so it is not surprising that it was not found until the keen-eyed Barnard turned the Lick 36-inch refractor on it (though Pritchard claims an earlier image on a plate taken at Cambridge in the late 1880's; see Herbig's article in AJ 111, 1241, 1996 for a complete history of IC 349).

NGC 1435, however, is fairly easily seen on good nights with much smaller telescopes. I've picked it out with a six-inch, and I suspect that any good scope of four inches or more would give a view of it.


This tuft of nebulosity is the reflection nebula surrounding 4th magnitude Merope (23 Tauri), the southernmost of the six bright Pleiads. Under excellent conditions, some observers can make out the nebula's form with binoculars. Through 6 to 8 inch scopes it appears as a comet-shaped glow extending southward from the star, and it becomes more apparent and striated as the aperture increases.

Published comments

Doig, P. (1925)

Doig, P. (1925) Notes on the nebulae and clusters in Webb's 'Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes' (Sixth edition, Vol.ii). Part IV. M.N.R.A.S., 36(2), 58.

Cederblad, S. (1946) [VII/231]

Ced 19j (NGC 1435)

Position (1900): RA 3 40.4, Dec + 23 28

Star: 23 522 (Mp=4.07, V=4.25, SpT=B7n)

Spectrum of nebula: continuous spectrum (observed)

Classification: Neb associated with mainly one star (which may be multiple) - star surrounded by a neb envelope with conspicuous structure (eg. IC 5146)

Size: 30'x30'

Notes: "19 j = NGC 1435 = The large Merope nebula. Disc. Tempel 1859. (28, 42, 196, 199, 200, 203, 227, 293, 294, 325, 337, 358, 365, 366, 569, 631, 715, 731, 748, 798, 808)."

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

(Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a diffuse nebula.

Ondra, Leos (1992)

Ondra (1992, Webb Society Quarterly Journal, 89, 8-11, 'IC 349: Well-known But Forgotten') notes that NGC 135 is the brightest part of the Pleiades nebulosity, which surrounds Merope and extends some 20' to the South. He writes: "It was first noticed by Wilhelm Tempel, observing from Venice, on 1859 October 19, using a 10-cm refractor. He described it as like 'a breath on a mirror', and this nebulosity may be glimpsed occasionally during crystalline northern winter nights."

Magakian T. Yu. (2003)

= DG 20, [RK68] 14, VdB 22, N1435,IC349, GN 03.43.3, Ced 19i, Other designations: Pleyades,Merope

Class: C (reflection neb)

Modern observations

Steve Gottlieb

Merope Nebula

03 46.1 +23 47

8: very large, faint, very elongated tear-drop nebulosity extending SW away from Merope. Has a sharper edge along the E side. Visible in 16x80 finder with a Deep Sky filter.

Walter Scott Houston

Houston writes: "Extending southward from the star Merope in the Pleiades is the brightest part of the dim reflection nebula that envelopes the cluster. The Merope nebula was discovered in 1859 by Tempel with a 4-inch refractor in Italy, and at Tucson my 4-inch showed it readily. In Connecticut, a 10-inch reflector failed, but in Vermont a 5-inch Moonwatch scope succeeded. Anyone who believes he sees the elusive Merope nebula should always check the possibility of a slightly fogged eyepiece, by noticing whether or not other bright Pleiades stars show similar appendages."

Contemporary observations

Tom Bryant

2007-01-20 22:00:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[3h 46m 6s, 23 47m 0s] This is the nebula surrounding 23 Tau (Merope) in the Pleiades. It was quite faint, but apparent with the 56 mm eyepiece (36x). It was invisible in the finder.

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