IC 63 – Ghost Nebula



This is an area of nebulosity approximately 600 light years distant, near Gamma Cassiopeiae – the middle star in the famous ‘W’ shape of Cassiopeia, which shows prominently here in the upper, right quadrant of the photo. The brightness of the star makes it difficult to detect the nebula. This image is the result of about 11 hours of exposure time, using a cooled CMOS camera. There are actually two fairly distinct nebulae visible in the image: IC 59 (left) and IC 63 (right). IC 59 has less H-alpha emission, and so it appears more blue, as the light is mostly blue light reflected from the star. IC 63, also known as the Ghost Nebula, is slightly closer to the star, and appears brighter in this image.