NGC 1999 Reflection Nebula in Orion
Young Star in a Reflection & Dark Nebula
The small reflection nebula, NGC 1999, surrounds the 10.4 magnitude star,
V380 Orionis, located a couple of degrees south of the Sword-of-Orion.
V380 Orionis is a young, hot star with 3.5 solar masses. Its light is reflecting
off the gas and dust left over from its own creation to create the nebula NGC
I read about NGC 1999 in Stephan O’Meara’s book Hidden Treasures where
he lists this small reflection nebula as his 33rd object of interest (HT33).
What intrigued me was that there was a dark cloud named Paramian-34
centered 15 arcseconds from V380 Orionis, well within the boundaries of the
reflection nebula. O’Meara thought that he might be picking up the tiny dark
cloud (Paramian-34) since the star appeared in his 4” refractor, at high
magnification, as surrounded by a thin dark-circle. Now that I had a
new target on my observational list, all I needed was a clear night. On
February 8th, I star hopped from Orion’s lower sword star to V380 Orionis
with little difficulty. I had to increase the magnification a bit to see the 2
arcminute Reflection Nebula and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was
to see -- even from my suburban location. Increasing the magnification even
further, I too saw what appeared to be a thin dark ring around the star
embedded in the nebula. It was a good night to be out under the stars.