Universe Guide

Witch Head Nebula (NGC1909) Facts

Witch Head Nebula (NGC1909) Facts Reflection Nebula in Eridanus

Witch Head Nebula (NGC1909) is a reflection nebula object of interest in space. It lies at a distance of about 1,000.00 light years away in the constellation of Eridanus.

It is also referred to as NGC(1909) in the New General Catalogue. This is a list of deep space objects that was compiled by John Louis Emil Dreyer in 1888 in an update to John Herschel earlier catalogue.

The Reflection Nebula's location is 05:02:00 (R.A.) and -7:54 (Dec.). Its Visual (Apparent) Brightness is 13.00 Magnitude with an apparent dimension of 13 . The object can not be seen by the naked eye from Earth, you need a telescope to see it.

Although situated in the Eridanus constellation, the map below shows the Orion constellation because the Witch Head is located near to Rigel which lights up the nebula. Also the constellation of Orion is much easier to recognise. There is also a Wizard Nebula located in the constellation of Cepheus.

Witch Head Nebula featured in Andromeda where there was a battle between the High Guard and the Nietzscheans. The High Guard lost the battle.

To see the object, you would need a telescope of at least 4.5 - 6 inch view.

When best to see the Witch Head Nebula

The Witch-Head Nebula is one of the easiest nebulas to see by virtue of its location to the Orion constellation which is the easiest constellation to spot in the night sky.

Northern Hemisphere

Once you have located Orion, look to the west of Rigel and you should see the fuzz that is the Witch-Head Nebula. Its a large nebula, located to the south of Cursa in the constellation of Eridanus. Orion is a winter constellation, November -> May. It can be seen at about 9pm during those months but only early in the later months.

Southern Hemisphere

Orion is best viewed from December to April in the southern hemisphere. It can be viewed but if I gave all the permutations we'd be here for too long. Whilst in the northern hemisphere you looked down from the Belt of Orion, here you look up to Rigel and again to the west to see the nebula.

Travel Time to Witch Head Nebula (NGC1909)

The time it will take to travel to this star is dependent on how fast you are going. U.G. has done some calculations as to how long it will take going at differing speeds. A note about the calculations, when I'm talking about years, I'm talking non-leap years only (365 days).

The New Horizons space probe is the fastest probe that we've sent into space at the time of writing. Its primary mission was to visit Pluto which at the time of launch (2006), Pluto was still a planet.

DescriptionSpeed (m.p.h.)Time (years)
Airbus A380736911,163,898.10
Speed of Sound (Mach 1)767.269874,030,658.09
Concorde (Mach 2)1,534.54437,014,759.47
New Horizons Probe33,00020,321,716.03
Speed of Light670,616,629.001,000.00

Fact File

NameWitch Head Nebula (NGC1909)
TypeReflection Nebula
NGC Id1909
Right Ascension05:02:00
Distance (Lt.Yr)1000
Apparent Dimension13
Visual / Apparent Magnitude13.00
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 4.5 - 6 Inch Telescope - Magnitudes

Location of Witch Head Nebula (NGC1909) Facts in Eridanus

Witch Head Nebula (NGC1909) Facts Reflection Nebula in Eridanus

The image above showing the location of the object was generated using the free application Stellarium.

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