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Contains:  NGC 1514
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The Crystal Ball Nebula, NGC 1514, 


            Steven Bellavia
The Crystal Ball Nebula, NGC 1514

The Crystal Ball Nebula, NGC 1514

Technical card

Resolution: 1500x1000

Dates:Jan. 3, 2019Jan. 5, 2019

Optolong L: 13x300" (gain: 100.00) -15C bin 1x1
Optolong L: 180x20" (gain: 300.00) bin 1x1

Integration: 2.1 hours

Darks: ~32

Avg. Moon age: 28.09 days

Avg. Moon phase: 3.25%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 4.00 job: 2455288

RA center: 4h 9' 17"

DEC center: +30° 46' 33"

Pixel scale: 0.693 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 181.259 degrees

Field radius: 0.174

Data source: Backyard


The Crystal Ball Nebula, NGC 1514, is a planetary nebula that lies on the border of Taurus and Perseus. It was discovered by William Herschel on November 13, 1790, describing it "A most singular phenomenon" and forcing him to rethink his ideas on the construction of the heavens. Up until this point Herschel was convinced that all nebulae consisted of masses of stars too remote to resolve, but now here was a single star "surrounded with a faintly luminous atmosphere." He went on to conclude "Our judgement I may venture to say, will be, that the nebulosity about the star is not of a starry nature".

It has since been conjectured that the nebula in fact envelops a tightly orbiting double star with a period of up to 10 days. Gas is presumably expanding away from the larger star of the pair.

NGC1514 is relatively small at 2.2 arc-minutes across, and fairly faint at approximately magnitude 9.5



Steven Bellavia
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


The Crystal Ball Nebula, NGC 1514, 


            Steven Bellavia