The star Merope and its Nebula NGC 1435/IC 349 in in the Pleiades

[Merope Nebula, KPNO] The most conspicuous of the Pleiades reflection nebulae is NGC 1435 around Merope, also called "Tempel's Nebula", as it was discovered by Wilhelm Tempel on October 19, 1859. This is the only one of the reflection nebulae in the Pleiades which was known to John Herschel when he compiled his General Catalog (GC) in 1864, and has been assigned the number GC 768. In the NGC, it is described as very faint, very large, diffuse nebula around Merope; its angular diameter is given as half a degree (same as the Full Moon).

The image displayed here was obtained with the KPNO 4-meter Mayall telescope in 1975. Credit and copyright: AURA/NOAO/NSF.

  • More information on this image (N. Sharp, NOAO)
  • Color image of Merope with nebula, Burrell Schmidt telescope of Case Western Reserve University's Warner and Swasey Observatory, on Kitt Peak, January 1997. NOAO caption by N. Sharp. Credit: AURA/NOAO/NSF
  • More NOAO images

    The Merope Nebula contains a bright knot, IC 349, which is very small and 36" south following (east) of Merope (more exactly, at position angle 165 deg). This small reflection nebula was first discovered by E.E. Barnard in 1890. It appears such bright, compared to its suroundings, because of its proximity to the star Merope.

    Data of the Merope Nebulae and Merope:

    NGC 1435 IC 349 Merope
    Right Ascension 03 : 46.1 (h:m) 03 : 46.3 (h:m) 03:46:19.57 (h:m:s)
    Declination +23 : 47 (deg:m) +23 : 56 (deg:m) +23:56:54.1 (deg:m:s)
    Distance 0.44 (kly) 0.44 (kly) 0.44 (kly)
    Visual Brightness 13 (mag) 4.17 (mag)
    Diameter 30. (arc min) 0.5 (arc min)

    .. more to come soon ..

  • The Pleiades nebulosity, notably the Merope Nebula NGC 1435 and the Maia Nebula NGC 1432 are listed in the RASC's Deep Sky Challenge Objects list.

  • Biography of Wilhelm Tempel, discoverer of the Merope Nebula

  • SIMBAD Data for Merope
  • SIMBAD Data for NGC 1435
  • SIMBAD Data for IC 349
  • Observing Reports for NGC 1435 (IAAC Netastrocatalog)
  • Observing Reports for IC 349 (IAAC Netastrocatalog)
  • Publications on NGC 1435 (NASA ADS)
  • Publications on IC 349 (NASA ADS)
  • NGC Online data for NGC 1435
  • NGC Online data for IC 349

    Hartmut Frommert
    Christine Kronberg

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    Last Modification: July 25, 2007