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Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2008

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Planetary Nebula in Taurus (NGC 1514), Jacoba Bulthuis

NGC 1514

NGC 1514 is a dim nebula near the constellation of Taurus. It has a bright gas center which expands outwards into a smooth, less brigh outer shell that appears slightly green in color. NGC 1514 is a planetary nebula, which is material thrown off by a star that has run out of hydrogen fuel to burn. This planetary nebula was discovered in 1790 by William Herschel. This discovery lead Herschel to rethink his ideas about the construction of the heavens. Up to this point Herschel believed that all nebulae were made up of masses of stars that were to remote to resolve, but this discovery appeared to be a single star surrounded by a gentle luminous atmosphere. It was not until years later that astronomers found the center of NGC 1514 to actually be two stars in a tight orbit. NGC 1514 is about 4,300 light years away and can be found near a boundary on Taurus, about eight degrees Northeast of the Pleiades.

The center of NGC 1514 is composed of two, tightly orbiting stars not one as William Herschel initially believed. The bluish-green gas surrounding the center is emmitted from the larger of the two stars. This star is estimated to be three to four times larger than our sun. This gas is expanding outward from the center at about 25 km/sec. The gaseous region around the bright center will spread out increasingly within tens of thousands of years and evolve into a splendid planetary nebula. The linear size of this nebula is 1.9 light years.The angular size of NGC 1514 is 1.5 minutes.

References:
Block, Adam. "NGC 1514." NOAO. <http://www.noao.edu/outreach/aop/observers/n1514.html>.

Grammar, Lew. "NGC 1514." Netastrocatalog. <http://www.visualdeepsky.org/cgi-bin/search.cgi?catalogs=NGC&ids=1514>

Right Ascension (J2000) 04:09:12
Declination (J2000) +30:47:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

March 19, 2009 (C)
March 19, 2009 (BVR)