Object name: VDB016

Designation(s): VDB016, GN03.25.3,

The reflection nebula vdB 16 is part of a huge complex known as the Perseus Molecular Cloud or sometimes the Cloud of Perseus. It is a huge area of the sky full of dust, new star formation, emission and reflection nebula etc. that is seen when near an illuminating or exciting star. The cloud is listed as being about 900 to 1000 light years distant depending on the source I looked at. The star at the heart of vdB 16 is SAO 75942 a magnitude 9.16 F0V star that The Sky puts at about 2,500 light-years. Thus over twice as far as the cloud. If right it is an imposter for the star lighting up the nebula. The blue star above the nebula is HIP 16164, a magnitude 9.65 A0 star with a distance by The Sky of 1042 light-years. That is more reasonable and since the error bars for parallax at that distant are quite large it even fits the 900 light-year distance. So is it the illuminating star? I found nothing to answer this question.

While the nebula is considered part of the Perseus Molecular Cloud the cloud extends into other constellations. This nebula is actually in very northeastern Aries just south of Perseus and west of Taurus. The nebula is also known as [RK68] 10 and GN 03.25.3.

14\" LX200R @ f/10, L=4x10\' RGB=2x10\', STL-11000XM, Paramount ME