An astronomical trip from the California Nebula to the Pleiades
star cluster would cover just 12 degrees across planet Earth's night sky.
That's equivalent to the
angular extent of 25 Full Moons,
as your telescope sweeps over the borders of the
constellations Perseus and Taurus.
This wide and deep mosaic image
of the region explores the
cosmic landscape's dusty nebulae and colors
otherwise too faint
for your eye to see.
On the left, cataloged as NGC 1499, the
California Nebula does
have a familiar shape, though its coastline is actually over
60 light-years long and lies about 1,500 light-years
The nebula's pronounced reddish glow is from hydrogen atoms ionized
by luminous blue star Xi Persei seen just to its right.
At the far right, the famous
Pleiades star cluster is some
400 light-years distant and around 15 light-years across.
Its spectacular blue color is due to the reflection of starlight
by interstellar dust.
In between are hot stars of the Perseus OB2
dusty, dark nebulae along the edge of the nearby, massive
Andreo (Deep Sky Colors)