Object name: NGC1999

Designation(s): NGC1999,

NGC 1999 is a small reflection nebula embedded in the Orion Molecular Cloud located about 1500 light years from us. This cloud covers much of the constellation of Orion. Where O stars formed out of it, it glows red. Where more normal stars formed it shines blue as a reflection nebula. NGC 1999 is a reflection nebula though the whole field is glowing faintly red due to scattered O stars in the area, including those that cause the famous Orion Nebula to glow. Again I got killed by clouds. The result was that I got ONE blue frame, ONE green frame and three H alpha frames before the clouds rolled in. That doesn't give me much to work with. Add to that a bright satellite that went through from lower left to right center, first at the end of the green frame then the start of the blue (actually it is going right to left). Then while the blue frame was being taken a communication satellite drifted slowly through the field. These are stationary in the sky so as the earth rotates the stars and NGC 1999 drift past. That made the nearly horizontal blue streak above NGC 1999. By using a process called Sigma Reject I can eliminate such satellites if I take three or more frames. With one there's nothing that can be done but let them color the image. Again the stars are funny blue due to there being no red frame. At the center of NGC 1999 is a Bok Globule where other stars may be forming. Like most reflection nebula this one is very blue in color. You can see a Hubble shot of it at: It is sometimes referred to as the "Keyhole to the Heavens" due to the shape of the Bok globule at its center.

The nebula was discovered by William Herschel on October 5, 1785. It is in the original H400 observing program. My log entry from March 16, 1985 with my 10" f/5 on an average night at 60x reads; "Small planetary like reflection nebula. Seems much smaller than the 12'x16' listed. To me, it is a small donut with a small central hole. A star there makes it hard to see. Apparently, I'm only seeing the center 2' of the nebula. An interesting object if M42 was not so close." The size currently given for it is 2' so where the much larger size came from I don't know. Maybe the writer was seeing some of the H alpha that fills the entire area. That's far larger than the 12'x16' given size, however.

This was an early image before I knew much about taking Halpha targets and combining RGB data. I never even took luminance data. While I took one red frame for some unknown reason it wasn't used creating cyan stars. Processing didn't even attempt to remove satellites from the color frames. 5 minutes for red and green is very data starved for this object. Definitely one for the reshoot list.

14" LX200R @ f/10, Ha=3x30'GB=1x5', STL-11000XM, Paramount ME

Related Designation(s):

1WGA J0536.4-0643, NGC 1999, NGC1999,