Galactic Nebula IC 417

Object Description

IC 417
IC 417: Galaktic nebula in Auriga; 500 mm Cassegrain 3625 mm f/7.2, SBIG STL11K; 220+3*60 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2014 Radek Chromik

IC 417 was discovered on September 25, 1892 by the German astronomer Max Wolf. [196]

IC 417 is an emission and reflection nebula with an embedded star cluster, which is part of an extensive H-II nebula complex and star formation region in the Auriga constellation. The age is estimated to be less than 3 million years. The distribution of the young stellar objects (YSO) along with the ionized and molecular gas reveal two ring-like structures, both of which extend over a range of several degrees. The center of these «Auriga Bubbles» is about 50 pc above the galactic mid-plane and their diameter is about 100 pc. This could be caused by past supernovae, the shock wave of which had stimulated star formation in this area. [358]

IC 405, IC 410, IC 417
IC 405, IC 410, IC 417: H-II Region in Auriga. STScI Digitized Sky Survey [147]

Other objects that seem to belong to the same molecular cloud are: NGC 1931, IC 410 and IC 405 (see fig. 2). The distance from IC 417 to Earth is about 2.19 kpc, around 7100 light years. The distance from the star AE Aurigae, which is responsible for the flame star nebula IC 405, is given as 405 to 548 parsecs (approx. 1300 to 1800 light years) and is therefore much closer. [145] Either the distance information is incorrect, the nebula area is much larger, or it is a matter of different nebulae that lie in the same viewing direction.

«Revised New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue» Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke, 2021 [277]
DesignationIC 417
Right Ascension05h 28m 05.9s
Declination+34° 25' 26"
Diameter13.00 × 10.0 arcmin
Dreyer DescriptionvL, dif, * 6 inv
IdentificationLBN 804, CED 46, Sh2-234

Finder Chart

The open star cluster with galactic nebula IC 417 is located in the constellation Auriga (Charioteer) at the 5.1 mag bright star φ Aurigae. The best observation time is September to April.

Chart IC 417
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]


145SIMBAD astronomical database;
147Aladin Lite; (2020-12-23)
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
358«Large-scale star formation in Auriga region» A K Pandey, Saurabh Sharma, N Kobayashi, Y Sarugaku, K Ogura; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 492, Issue 2, February 2020, Pages 2446–2467,; DOI:10.1093/mnras/stz3596