NGC 1514

NGC 1514

NGC 1514
Observation data
(Epoch J2000)
Right ascension 04h 09m 16.984s[1]
Declination +30° 46′ 33.47″[1]
Distance ~600ly (~190pc)
Apparent magnitude (V) 9.43[1]
Apparent dimensions (V) 2′.2
Constellation Taurus
Physical characteristics
Other designations Crystall Ball Nebula

NGC 1514 is a planetary nebula that was discovered by William Herschel on November 13, 1790, describing it "A most singular phaenomenon" and forcing him to rethink his ideas on the construction of the heavens. Up until this point Herschel was convinced that all nebulae consisted of masses of stars too remote to resolve, but now here was a single star "surrounded with a faintly luminous atmosphere."[2] He went on to conclude "Our judgement I may venture to say, will be, that the nebulosity about the star is not of a starry nature".

It has since been conjectured that the nebula in fact envelops a tightly orbiting double star with a period of up to 10 days. Gas is presumably expanding away from the larger star of the pair.[3]

NGC 1514 is also known as Crystal Ball Nebula.


  1. ^ Parallax = 5.40 ± 1.70 mas[1]
  1. ^ a b c d SIMBAD 2007
  2. ^ Herschel 1791
  3. ^ Muthu & Anandarao 2003


  • Hoskin, Michael A. (1963), "William Herschel and the Construction of the Heavens", Oldbourne History of Science Library (London: Oldbourne),  
  • Muthu, C.; Anandarao, B. G. (December 2003), "A Spatiokinematic Study of the Planetary Nebula NGC 1514", The Astronomical Journal 126 (6): 2963–2970,  
  • NASA (2010), WISE Image Reveals Strange Specimen in Starry Sea, National Aeronautics and Space Organization, retrieved November 19, 2010 

External links

  • Basic data on NGC 1514
  • Discussion on the dynamics of the NGC 1514 system
  • Herschel's theory