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The California Nebula

Original drawing made using white pencil on black paper:

Same drawing on a white background:

February 2, 2002 8:15 - 9:45 PM, seeing 4-5, transparency 5.2. Also March 1, 2002, 7:30 - 8:30 PM, seeing 5-6, transparency 5.0.

90mm f/5 refractor on alt-az mount. Magnification 13x used with a Lumicon H-Beta filter. North is to the upper right in this drawing.

The California Nebula (NGC1499) is an Emission Nebula located in the constellation of Perseus. The size of the nebula is 160.0'x40.0', or about 3 degrees long and 1 degree wide. It is approximately 2000 light years away. It was discovered visually by Edward E. Barnard on November 3, 1885 while using a 6" refractor. The nebula is located approximately 0.6 degrees from the star Menkib, also known as xi Persei, or 46 Persei. It is a variable star that has a maximum magnitude of 4.00 and a minimum magnitude of 4.06.

Through the H-Beta filter the northern and central portions of The Californian Nebula appeared brighter than the southern portion of the nebula. When I compared the view through the H-Beta filter with that of a UHC filter, the UHC only brought out the brighter portions of the northern portion of the nebula.