• The California Nebula, also known as NGC 1499, spans an impressive 100 light-years across, making it one of the largest nebulae visible from Earth. It is a diffuse nebula located about 1,000 light-years away in the constellation Perseus and is part of the Perseus molecular cloud, a massive cloud of gas and dust where new stars are forming. The California Nebula contains hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, and its spectrum shows bright emission lines produced by excited electrons in the nebula's gas atoms. The California Nebula is constantly changing due to the ionization and excitation of its gas and dust by the radiation from a nearby young star. (Xi Persei)

  • Depicted in the Starless HOO color palette. (Hubble Inspired)

  • Distance: 1,000 light-years
    Size: 100 light-years

    (Click on the image for acquistion details)