Planetary Nebula IC 2003

IC 2003
IC 2003: Planetary nebula in Perseus; 500 mm Cassegrain 3625 mm f/7.2, SBIG STL11K; 80-40-40-40 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2015 Radek Chromik


This planetary nebula was first sighted on 18 January 1907 by the British Astronomer Thomas Espin. He was looking for new double stars using his private 17.25 inch Calver reflector from his observatory at Tow Law, Co. Durham, UK. With later observations he measured this «conspicuous object equal to a 10 magnitude star» as an elongated disk with 6.9 x 6.35 arcseconds in diameter and the major axis roughly at position 10.5°. Sometimes it looked like two nebulae. A small star was noted south preceding. His observations suggested a planetary nebula. Professor Burnham observed the nebula with the 40 inch telescope on Yerkes Observatory on 20 February. [624] John L. E. Dreyer added the nebula as IC 2003 in his «Second Index Catalogue» that was published in 1910. [315]

Physical Properties

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationIC 2003
Right Ascension (J2000.0)03h 56m 22.0s
Declination (J2000.0)+33° 52' 32"
Diameter0.33 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude12.6 mag
Visual magnitude11.4 mag
Metric Distance6.135 kpc
Dreyer DescriptionpB, eS, lE ns, * 13 n 4", * 12 sp 18"
Identification, RemarksPK 161-14.1, CS=15.3

Finder Chart

The planetary nebula is located in the south of constellation Perseus, exactly in the middle between the stars ξ Persei (Menkib) and ζ Persei. The best time to observe is September to February, when the circumpolar constellation is highest at night.

Finder Chart Planetary Nebula IC 2003
Planetary Nebula IC 2003 in constellation Perseus. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


  • [149] SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
  • [160] The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
  • [277] «Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
  • [315] «Second Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars; containing objects found in the years 1895 to 1907, with Notes and Corrections to the New General Catalogue and to the Index Catalogue for 1888–94» Dreyer, J. L. E. (1910); Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society. 59: 105–198; Bibcode:1910MmRAS..59..105D
  • [624] «A New Nebula» T. E. Espin, M.A.; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 67, Issue 5, March 1907, Pages 360–361; DOI:10.1093/mnras/67.5.360