NGC 1514 – A crystal ball in the cirrus


Bob Franke

Chino Valley, AZ USA

Telescope or Lens Use: 12.5″ RCOS Ritchey-Chrétien
Aperture: 12.5″
Focal Ratio: F/9
Mount: Paramount ME
Camera: SBIG STL-11000
Filters: AstroDon LRGB + OIII

Exposure Time (s)
Lum 840 min. (28 x 30 min.)
RGB 360 min. ( 8 x 15 min.)
OIII 480 min. (16 x 30 min.)

William Herschel discovered NGC 1514 and 1790. The planetary nebula, also known as the Crystal Ball Nebula, is in the constellation Taurus at a distance of 800 light-years. It thought that the nebula envelops a tightly orbiting double star with a period of about 10 days. Gas is presumably expanding away from the larger star of the pair. The image also shows part of a large expanse of interstellar cirrus.

This is a rare, if not unique, view of NGC 1514. I have not found one that shows the interstellar cirrus. This may be because the nebula is so bright. Most astrophotographers are focused on just nebula and see no reason to greatly extend the exposure.