California Nebula (NGC 1499)

NGC 1499
NGC 1499: California Nebula in Perseus; Celestron RASA 11" f/2.22; ZWO ASI6200 Pro; Tentlingen; © 2020 Peter Kocher [33]
NGC 1499 + M 45
NGC 1499 + M 45: California Nebula with Pleiades and interstellar dust; Canon EF 85 mm 1:1.8 USM @ f/4.0; Canon EOS 6Da; 240x1 min @ 1600 ASA; Bern, Elfenau, 561 m AMSL; © 22./23. 12. 2014 Manuel Jung [45]
NGC 1499
NGC 1499: California Nebula in Perseus; Takahashi FSQ 106 ED APO refractor f=350 mm; SBIG STL1000M; Ha 90 min; R 60 min; G 85 min; B 65 min; Rüegsauschacken, Emmental; © 13-14 November 2010 Hansjörg Wälchli [46]


The galactic emission nebula NGC 1499 was discovered on 3 November 1885 by American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard. It received the nickname because it is similar in shape to the US state of California. [196]

Physical Properties

With a surface area of around 2.5 ° x 1 °, the nebula is very large, but has a low surface brightness. It glows mainly in the red lines Hα (656 nm) and Hβ (486 nm). The nearby, high-energy O7 star ξ Persei (Menkib), located at a distance of about 420 pc to 486 pc (1370 to 1585 light years), is held responsible for this. [145, 196]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Designation NGC 1499
Type EN
Right Ascension (J2000.0) 04h 01m 10.0s
Declination (J2000.0) +36° 27' 36"
Diameter 120 × 60 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude 5.0 mag
Position Angle 120°
Metric Distance 0.400 kpc
Dreyer Description vF, vL, E ns, dif
Identification, Remarks LBN 756; California nebula

Finder Chart

NGC 1499 is located in the constellation Perseus about 1° to the northeast from the 4 mag bright star ξ Persei (Menkib). It can best be observed in the months of August to March.

Finder Chart California Nebula (NGC 1499)
California Nebula (NGC 1499) 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]

Visual Observation

400 mm Aperture: With the 31 mm Tele Vue Nagler eyepiece (58x) and hβ filter, NGC 1499 is clearly defined as a large nebula, so that individual structures can also be recognised. However, the nebula extends far beyond the field of view of 1.4° of the eyepiece. In order to recognise it, the telescope must be moved along the edge of the nebula. For an even lower magnification, a shorter focal length is recommended. — 400 mm f/4.5 Taurus Dobsonian, Gurnigel, 19. 8. 2023, Bernd Nies

Objects Within a Radius of 15°