IC 410 The Tadpole Nebula

IC 410,Tadpoles

IC410 The Tadpole Nebula

Distance: 12,000 Light Years                              Telescope: Televue NP101 + .8 Reducer

Magnitude: 7.5                                                        Camera: QSI 683

Size:  55×45 Arc-minutes                                     Mount: AP 900

Age: Approx. 4 Million Years                              Exposures: SII 18×1200, Ha 21×1200, OIII 20×1200


IC 410 is an emission nebula in the constellation Auriga. It is about 12,000 light years away and appears to be 55 x 45 arc minutes in size.  It is also known as the Tadpole nebula and if you look carefully at the left center of my image you will see the two globules that look like tadpoles. The Tadpoles are star formation areas each having their own designations Sim 129 and Sim 130. They get their shape from very hot and young stars blasting out ultraviolet radiation and shaping the surrounding gas to appear like tadpoles. The stars inside are very young, about one million years old, and are about 10x the size of our own sun.

Emission nebula IC 410 is illuminated by a young and bright star cluster called NGC 1893. To find it in my image just follow the tadpoles, they appear to be swimming right to it. This cluster is very young at about 4 million years old and contains several hundred stars.

There are also a few dark nebula nearby. It is these dark nebula that give the nebula what appears to be ears, eyes, and a mouth that resemble a profile of a monkeys head.  (I think the overall nebula looks like the profile of a monkey head but there is already another nebula with this name).

[Universe Today]

Ha Version 21×1200:

IC 410, Tadpole Nebula

IC 410 The Tadpole Nebula

LRGB Version 13×300:

IC 410, Tadpole Nebula

IC410 The Tadpole Nebula

NGC 1333

NGC 1333

NGC 1333

Distance: 1,000 Light Years                                          Telescope: Televue NP101

Magnitude: 5.6                                                                 Camera: QSI 683

Size:  6 x 3 Arc-minutes                                                 Mount: AP 900

Age: Approx. 1 Million Years                                       Exposures: L  13×900 Bin 1, RGB 13×450 Bin2

NGC 1333 is a reflection nebula and shows as the blue part of the nebula in my image. NGC 1333 is located in the constellation Perseus at about 1,000 light years away.  Dark nebula LDN 1550 surrounds NGC 1333 and LDN 1448 is in the bottom right corner.  It is in these dark nebula regions that star formation is occurring and most of the stars in these nebulas are only about 1 million years old. This area is also known for a large number of brown dwarf stars. These newly formed stars and brown dwarfs are all part of a very active star producing area of the Perseus Molecular Cloud.

[NOAO, Wikipedia]

NGC 1499 The California Nebula

NGC 1499 The California Nebula

NGC 1499 The California Nebula

Distance: 1,800 Light Years                            Telescope: Televue NP101 + .8 Reducer

Magnitude: 6.0                                                    Camera: QSI 683

Size: 150 x 50 Arc Minutes                              Mount: AP 900

Nebula  Type: Emission                                  Exposure: SII 30×1200, Ha 28×1200, OIII 30×1200

NGC 1499, also known as the California nebula, is a large emission nebula in the constellation Perseus. The nebula gets its name from the resemblance to the state of California. This large nebula resides in the Orion arm of our galaxy and is illuminated by the brightest star in the picture, Xi Persei. Xi Persei is also known as Menkhib on most star charts and is a very hot bluish white star whose temperature is about 66,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is over 6 times as hot as our own sun. There is a very extreme stellar wind created by this star and it is illuminating the gas and dust that forms the shape of the California nebula.

Sources: NASA and SEDS

M45 The Pleiades

M45. The Pleiades, Messier 45

M45 The Pleiades

Distance: 440 Light Years                            Telescope: Televue NP101

Magnitude: 1.6                                                Camera: QSI 683

Size:  110 Arc-minutes                                 Mount: AP 900

Age: Approx. 100 Million Years                 Exposures: L 20×600, R 20×600, G 20×600 B 20×600

M45, also known as the Pleiades, is a bright open cluster with reflection nebula in the constellation of Taurus. There are several hot and bright blue stars in the cluster along with about 1000 other stars and they are thought to be about 100 million years old. The reflection nebula was once thought to be gas remnants from the star formation but it is now thought that the cluster of stars is moving through space and happened to cross through a neighboring dust cloud on its current path towards the constellation of Orion. The evidence for this is that the star cluster is moving at a different speed than the dust which shows as the reflection nebula.

Also known as the Seven Sisters from Greek Mythology, this open cluster is easily seen with the naked eye and is similar in shape to the Big Dipper. The nine brightest stars which are commonly seen are Sterope, Merope, Electra, Maya, Taygeta, Alcyone, and Celaeno all of which are named for the Seven Sisters and are daughters of Atlas (father) and Pleione (mother) the other two brightest stars. There are a few nebulous regions around some of the stars. The Maia nebula, NGC 1432 surrounds the star Maia and consists of stringy, hair like nebulosity. In between Maia and Merope lays two fairly bright horizontal lines that almost appear like a scratch across the lens. It is thought that these streaky lines are shaped by the magnetic alignment of the dust particles in the area.  The Tempels nebula, NGC 1435 is below Merope and is slightly different in color from the rest of the area.

There is a small galaxy to the right of Electra that I have never noticed before. It is marked as PGC 13696 and I made an annotated image so you can see it here.

M45. The Pleiades, Messier 45

M45 Annotated

IC 59 + 63


IC 59, IC 63

IC 59 + IC 63

Telescope: Televue NP101

Camera: QSI 683

Mount: AP 900

Exposure: Ha 20×1200 Seconds, SII 20×1200 Seconds

The above image was captured with my Televue NP101 refractor using 20 minute exposures with SII, Ha, and OIII filters. During processing I decided to omit the OIII data because it was very weak and just muddled the image using the SHO color method. I used a variant of the HOO method called HSS which is Ha assigned to the red channel and SII assigned to both green and blue channels.

IC 59 and IC 63 are two very faint nebulas in the constellation Cassiopeia. Both are emission and reflection nebula with the leading edge of each is the part showing the excited Hydrogen gas typical of emission nebula. The bluish part of the nebula is the reflection nebula and is very dim. IC 59 is the dimmer “W” shaped nebula and IC63 is the “V” shaped nebula. They are both illuminated by the bright star Gamma Cassiopeia that is just in front of the leading edge of the “W” and “V” shapes of both nebulas. This star is a very large variable star that is about 15 times as large as our sun but 70,000 times brighter. It is rotating so fast that it has an equatorial bulge and is discharging its own mass in to space. It is estimated to be near the end of its lifespan. [1]

[1] Courtney Seligman -> (my Astronomy teacher at LBCC)


The Elephant Trunk Nebula

IC 1396, Elephant Trunk Nebula

IC 1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula

This image was captured over three nights on October 15, 16, and 17, 2013 from my home observatory. This picture consists of 19×1200 seconds with the SII filter, 22×1200 seconds with the Ha filter, and 16×1200 seconds with the OIII filter for a total of 19 hours.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.

The Elephant Trunk nebula, also known as IC 1396 is found in the constellation of Cepheus and is about 2,400 light years away. IC 1396 is one of the largest emission nebula taking up about 3 degrees of sky and contains several star forming regions. The most prominent is IC 1396A which is the part that resembles an elephant trunk. IC 1396A is a dense, dark cloud of dust that is edge illuminated by a very bright nearby star that also illuminates the entire nebula. The bright star is HD 206267 and is a massive Type O. The radiation and winds from this star are thought to be the force behind the compression of gas and dust creating the star forming regions.

In the tip of the Elephant Nebula is a circular globule of dust that is open in the middle. Two stars are found here and they are newly formed stars that have cleared a section of the dust cloud as a process of their formation.  One of the stars is clearly apparent in my image but the other is partially obscured by remaining dust in the area.