NGC 1999 (VdB 46) in Orion

  Size: 1800 px      
© Velimir Popov & Emil Ivanov 2011 - 2017
NGC 1999 (also catalogued as VDB 46, Ced 55i, DG 60, LBN 210.44-19.70, LBN 979, Magakian 114, Bernes 122, V380 Ori, IV 33, GC 1202) is a reflection nebula, illuminated from the light of the variable star V380 Orionis. It was discovered in 1785 by William Herschel with an 18.7-inch f/13 speculum telescope. The dust-filled bright nebula has a vast hole of empty space represented by a black patch of sky, which can be seen on the photographs made with big telescopes. It was previously believed that the black patch was a dense cloud of dust and gas which blocked light that would normally pass through, called a dark nebula. Analysis of this patch by the infrared telescope Herschel (October 9, 2009), which has the capability of penetrating such dense cloud material, resulted in continued black space. This led to the belief that either the cloud material was immensely dense or that an unexplained phenomenon had been detected. With support from ground-based observations done using the submillimeter bolometer cameras on the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment radio telescope (November 29, 2009) and the Mayall (Kitt Peak) and Magellan telescopes (December 4, 2009), it was determined that the patch looks black not because it is an extremely dense pocket of gas, but because it is truly empty. The exact cause of this phenomenon is still being investigated, although it has been hypothesized that narrow jets of gas from some of the young stars in the region punctured the sheet of dust and gas, as well as, powerful radiation from a nearby mature star may have helped to create the hole. Researchers believe this discovery should lead to a better understanding of the entire star forming process. Some other nebulae, among them a part of Messier 42 (Great Orion Nebula) can be seen on the image (see annotated mouseover). Older, lower resolution image here.

Image details:


Center of field RA 05:36:59 (h:m:s)
Center of field DE -06:37:06 (deg:m:s)
Size 1.68 x 1.12 (deg)
Pixel scale: 2.99 (arcsec/pixel)
Orientation: Up is 249 degrees E of N
Charts and image details obtained from
Optic(s): ASA 12" Astrograph @ f/3.6 (Newton)
Mount: ASA DDM85 Standard
Camera: SBIG STL 11000 M
Filters: Luminance, Red, Green, Blue, Astronomik filters
Dates/Times: 6,7 Jan.. 2018
Location: IRIDA Observatory, BG, longitude: E 24 44' 18", latitude: N 41 41' 42"
Exp. Details: L:6x10min., R:6x10 min, G:6x10 min, B:6x10 min, Bin 1, Total Exposure Time - 240 min (4h).
More details: Dark and flat frames reduction
Processing: PixInsight / PS
Copyright: Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov 2013 - 2017. All Rights Reserved
click tracking