Also Known As: LBN 620, Sh2-185 North
Object Type: Emission + Reflection Nebula
Right Ascension (2000.0): 00h 57m 28.6s
Declination (2000.0): +61Â° 08' 37"
Dimensions: 10' x 5'
Distance: 600 light years
Discovery: Isaac Roberts (January 17, 1890); also found by Max Wolf (December 30, 1893), and Edward Emerson Barnard (February 6, 1894)
NGC Description: pF, eL! (nf Gamma Cas)
Telescope: Parks Astrolight EQ6 â€¢ 6" f/6 Newtonian Reflector
Eyepiece/Magnification: 12mm Parks Kellner â€¢ 90x â€¢ 35' FoV
Filter: Lumicon UHC
Date/Time: 16 November 2009 â€¢ 04:00-04:45 UT
Observing Location: Oakzanita Springs, San Diego Co., CA
Transparency: NELM 6.4, TLM 14.2
Seeing: Pickering 7-8
Conditions: Clear, cold, dry, some wind
Sketching Materials: #2 pencil, artists' chamois, ink, original sketch size 7.5" circle on 100# card stock 8.5" x 11" sheet.
The 59th entry in the Index Catalogue to the NGC is a frustratingly faint fan of nebulosity withering in the intense glare of nearby Gamma Cassiopeiae. This star is, in fact, the source of illumination and ionization for this nebula and nearby IC 63. Even though IC 59 is plotted on almost every beginner's atlas or chart of Cassiopeia that I own, it is not an easy target and has eluded me several times in the past. This particular observation benefited from favorable site-specific and atmospheric conditions, namely high elevation and low humidity at a dark site. Averted vision and gentle east-west motion of telescope also assisted in obtaining glimpses of this elusive ghost. The Lumicon UHC filter was employed but its benefit (if any) was very minimal (IC 63 responded much more favorably to the filter). Keeping Gamma out of the field of view was also essential (excluding 6th magnitude HD 5459 from the field is also helpful). Through the 12mm Kellner IC 59 appears as a diffuse comet-like fan of nebulosity, extremely faint, but perceptibly brighter near the tip in the direction of Gamma. A small (14th magnitude) star is detected intermittently at the apex of the fan. A second, fainter, overlapping fan of nebulosity lies to the west. The surrounding star field is rich, particularly to the east. The brightest field star is blue-white HD 5342, glowing at eighth magnitude to the northwest.