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NGC 1499 (2,766 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




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California Nebula

NGC 1499, Ced 26, LBN 160.18-12.15, LBN 756, Sh 2-220, California Nebula

RA: 04h 00m 40s
Dec: +36° 30′ 0″

Con: Perseus
Ch: MSA:117, U2:95, SA:5

Ref: SIMBAD, NGC/IC, Skiff20080430-s

(reference key)

Type: bright nebula (HII region)

Mag: B=4.05, V=?

Size: 160′ x 40′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Photos  (1)

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

NGC 1499 is the brightest part of the very extensive California Nebula, so called since its outline more or less resembles the outline of the state. Barnard's position -- apparently sent to Dreyer in a letter, since it is not in any of his published notes -- is just off the nebula to its east. The position I've adopted is more or less the center of the brightest portion of the nebulosity on its northeastern edge.


On the northern edge of the Zeta Persei Association lies the star Xi Persei, which seems to be the illuminating star for NGC 1499, the California nebula. On photographic plates it extends some 2.5 , but it is difficult visually. It was discovered by Barnard using a 6" refractor, and he described it as very faint, very large, extended North-South, difficult.

Published comments

Barnard, E. E. (1895)

Photograph of the nebula N.G.C. 1499 near the star chi Persei. Ap.J., 2, 350.

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

Ced 26 (NGC 1499)

Position (1900): RA 3 56.9, Dec + 36 8

Star: 35 775 (Mp=3.84, V=4.05, SpT=O7n)

Spectrum of nebula: emission spectrum (observed)

Classification: Neb associated with mainly one star (which may be multiple) - Large nebulous region illuminated by a star outside its border (eg. NGC 7000)

Size: 157'x54'

Notes: "NGC 1499. Disc. Barnard 1885 (65). WP 10. (16, 91, 114, 209, 216, 289, 294, 304, 362, 365, 366, 420, 26 478, 630 Pl 29, 631, 646, 715,810,820). R. {ksi} Persei +35 775 = HD 24912 = Boss 4779."

Sharpless (1959)

A catalogue of H-II regions. Astrophys.J.Suppl.Ser., 4, 257-279.

Sh 2-220: "NGC 1499. Source of excitation: xi Per. Part of II Per assoc."

Lynds, B.T. (1962)

Lynds, B.T. (1962) Catalogue of dark nebulae. Astrophys.J.Suppl.Ser. 7, 1-52. [also: computer datafile: VII/7A]

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

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

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 4/83 p359, Sky&Tel. 6/77 p489, Sky&Tel. 6/78 p483, Sky&Tel. 12/88 p711, Astronomy mag. 1/84 p78, Burnhams V3 p1423, 1425, Vehrenberg's Atlas of DS Splendors (3ed) p52, 53, Vehrenberg's Atlas of Galactic Neb-1 p32.

Modern observations

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "Very large! 2 degree x 1 degree extent; use binoculars or low-x, and N-filter; can even be glimpsed with the naked eye using N-filter; scan the area due N of 4M Xi PER; reference photo at VADSS-52."

Brian Skiff

Well, it was _discovered_ visually by Barnard, and shortly thereafter by another guy in Europe. So there's at least three visual naked-eye observations: Scotty Houston, me, and now Dave K. Probably lots of others we don't know about.


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