California Nebula (NGC 1499)

NGC 1499
NGC 1499: California Nebula; Celestron RASA 11" f/2.22; ZWO ASI6200 Pro; Tentlingen; © 2020 Peter Kocher


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, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationNGC 1499
Right Ascension04h 01m 10.0s
Declination+36° 27' 36"
Diameter120 × 60 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude5.0 mag
Position angle120°
Metric Distance0.400 kpc
Dreyer DescriptionvF, vL, E ns, dif
Identification, RemarksLBN 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 September to February.

Chart California Nebula (NGC 1499)
California Nebula (NGC 1499) in constellation Perseus. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


145SIMBAD astronomical database;
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)