17  August  2018

  IC63 - The Ghost Nebula

By  Holger Altmann
( www.sternwarte-katharinenberg.de )
IC 59 and IC 63 are faint reflection and emission nebula located in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia.
They are challenging objects to spot with telescopes for a number of reasons. Both nebulae are faint at apparent mag. +10,
 they have extremely low surface brightness and surround bright variable star gamma Cas (γ Cas).
 This remarkable star is partly unstable and is known as a "shell star". It currently shines at mag. +2.15, making it the brightest star in Cassiopeia.

IC 59 and IC 63 are 610 light-years distant. From our perspective, IC 59 is located on
the northern side of gamma Cas and IC 63 to the northeast. Spatially the nebulae are roughly 3
light-years from gamma Cas, although IC 63 is slightly closer to the star.
As a result, it's appears mostly red due to a dominance
of H-alpha emission, whereas IC 59 exhibits much less H-alpha emission and appears mostly blue due to dust reflected starlight.



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