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Cosmic reflections: the splendours of the vdB catalog

A reflection nebula is created when light from a star is scattered or reflected by a nearby dust cloud. Scattered light  has a spectrum similar to that of the illuminating star, but bluer,  blue light being scattered more efficiently than longer red wavelengths. This often blue color is therefore characteristic of these nebulae.

Reflection nebulae are generally less dense than dark nebulae and have sizes that are determined by the light source: their extent is not defined by the size of the dust cloud but rather by the area over which their luminosity remains. above the detection point.

Perhaps the best-known example of a reflection nebula is the nebulosity surrounding the stars of the Pleiades.

Very photogenic when they are large enough, or sometimes associated with obscure nebulae giving very beautiful compositions, they are nevertheless sometimes very small and difficult to access in amateur photography.

The van den Bergh Catalog of Reflection Nebulae is a  astronomical catalog  compiled by  Sidney van den Bergh in 1966 which initially had 158  nebulae . It will be extended to 159 objects two years later by René Racine.

To establish this, Sidney van den Bergh has  listed the  stars  catalogs  DM  and  CD of the Northern Hemisphere ( north of 33 °  declination  south), surrounded by reflection nebulae and visible in the red and blue photos of the  Palomar Observatory Sky Survey .

The symbol used in sky charts for the objects in this catalog is vdB followed by its object number. However  many objects have multiple names and we tend to indicate the name of the van den Bergh catalog only if there is no denomination by more well-known catalogs such as the  Messier catalog  (M), the  New General Catalog  (NGC) or the Index Catalog  (IC).

The nebulae in the catalog closest to us can be found on the  gould belt  ( star ring  of the  Milky Way about 3,000  light years  in diameter, inclined about 16 to 20  degrees  related to  galactic plane, and who  could constitute the  spiral arm  local whose  Sun  is part), and the most distant are on the  galactic disc  or on the arms of the  Sagittarius  and of  Perseus , next to the  ours .  

Note that there is also the van den Bergh-Herbst (vdbH) catalog which includes 93  reflection nebulae , some of which consist of multiple sub-regions, for a total of 136 objects. It was developed by  Sidney van den bergh  and  William herbst  and lists the  stars  catalogs  DM  and  Southern Hemisphere CD  ( south of 33 ° of  declination  south), surrounded by reflection nebulae and visible in the red and blue photos of the  Palomar Observatory Sky Survey .

It should also be noted that there are other reflection nebulae in the northern hemosphere not listed in the vdB catalog.

Astrophotographically speaking, reflection nebulae are sometimes large and / or superb enough to constitute the main subjects of an image, and sometimes are interesting in a composition where their often bluish and vivid color brings an interesting contrast with dark nebulae or molecular clouds. often associated, or with the deep red of ionized hydrogen in emission nebulae.

The vdB catalog presented here offers a selection of photos of vdB objects, sometimes in close-up and sometimes in a wide-field composition integrating them.

The goal this time is not to present the whole vdB catalog, so some (as little as possible) of the smaller or less photogenic ones have been deliberately left out and we can turn to the great work of the Irida Observatory. to view the complete catalog imaged by  Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov with a 300mm Newton telescope. Some have also been grouped together, because of their lower astrophotographic interest because they are small or isolated, on images that can sometimes include up to 8 vdB catalog entries.

Others were also retained although smaller than some which were discarded, quite simply because of the photographic interest which the neighboring object can present.

As with the Messier and Caldwell catalogs presented on this site, each image is from a different astrophotographer, and a total of 85 images from 85 astrophotographers were used to illustrate 115 of the 159 objects in the catalog.

The images were collected with the permission of the contributors (Astrobin, FlickR, personal websites ...) and have not undergone any modification, and the link to the galleries or websites of the contributors is available by clicking on their name. A brief description of the material used is given to get an idea of the size of the object and its accessibility for a particular configuration, and a brief description of the object is also given for guidance, without going into details. to make room for images.  The images are all made with amateur material (sometimes large-scale ...) and by amateurs.


vdB 1

Measuring less than 5 light years in diameter, vdB1 is about 1,600 light years from us in the constellation Cassiopeia.

We can also observe in this image, on the right, two other nebulae at  reflection surrounding the extremely young variable stars V633 Cas (top) and V376 Cas (bottom) and whose amazing shapes are linked to the energetic star-forming processes.

Photo: Daniel Huber  with Newton 10 "f / 4 and Atik460

vdb1 dhuber1.jpg

vdB 2

This region is located on the border of Cassiopeia and Cepheus, near the famous and large nebula NGC7822.

vdB2 is the upper right corner blue reflection nebula and the central large dark nebula is TGU H774 P19.

Other remarkable objects dot the field, reflection nebulae or even Herbig-Haro objects ( small nebulosities associated with some very young  stars , which are formed when matter ejected by these nascent stars collides with the  clouds of gas and dust  surrounding. HH objects are ubiquitous in regions of  star formation  and are ephemeral phenomena, having a lifespan of a few thousand years at most. It is possible to see them evolving over a relatively short period of time, as they move away from the star they came from through the gas clouds.  interstellar) .  

Photo: Tuunari with Newton 300/1200 and kaf 8300

vdb2 tounari nrwtn 300mm f4 kaf8300.jpg

vdB 4

NGC 225 is an open cluster in the constellation Cassiopeia, one of whose stars, the variable star V594 Cas, illuminates the blue reflection nebula vdB 4 also cataloged as LBN 604.

It seems that vdB 4 is a remnant of the cloud that formed the cluster.

Photo: Fritz with Newton 200/800 and ASI1600mm

vdb4 fritz newtob 200800 asi1600mm.jpg

vdB 5

Nebulae IC63 (Cassiopeia's phantom) and IC59 are composed of hydrogen ionized by the famous star Navi (Gamma Cassiopiae) for the part in emission (red), but also of parts reflecting the light of this variable star (blue) because too far away to be ionized by radiation from it.

Vdb 5 refers to the reflection of matter around Navi, which is a rapidly rotating variable star with a bulge at the equator. This combined with its strong luminosity results in a loss of matter which forms a disc around the star, which makes Gamma Cassiopeiae a  envelope star . Emissions and variations in brightness are probably created by this disc.

Photo: Jean-Baptiste Auroux with TSA102 and AtikOne 6.0

vdb5 jbaurou xtsa102.jpg

vdB 6

The small reflection nebula vdB 6 illuminated by the blue supergiant star BD + 61 315 is located in the constellation Cassiopeia, just next to the open cluster NGC654, itself overlooked by the obscure nebulae LDN1332, LDN1334 and LDN1337.

Photo: Nicolas Outters with RC12.5 "and KAF16803

vdb6 outters.jpg

vdB 7 and 9

A field dominated by the dark nebulae LDN1355 (right) and LDN1357 (left) and many interesting objects.

vdB 7 is located at the bottom right of the field just to the left of the star RZ Cassiopeiae, but is lit by a much fainter star.

vdB 9, located on the left side just below LDN1357, is illuminated by SU Cassiopeiae, a magnitude 5 dwarf Cepheid star located about 1,400 light years from Earth.

Photo: Bart Delsaert with Newton 16 "and kaf16803

vdb7&9 bart delsaert newton 16 g416000.jpg

vdB 8

VdB 8 (or LBN 643), is a small reflection nebula located in the constellation Cassiopeia, close to vdB7 and 9 which are also present in the wide field image below.

Its most remarkable feature is its very elongated and narrow shape. Located between two dark nebulae (not cataloged), VdB 8 almost covers a distant galaxy visible in the same direction and cataloged PGC 10828.

The magnitude 8 HD 17443 star which illuminates the nebula appears to be directly related to the nebula, being partially enveloped by it.

Photo: Konstantin Firsov with Newton 150 f / 2.8 and ASI294MC

vdb8 konstantin firsov.jpg

vdB12, 13, 16 and 17

Within the large molecular cloud of Perseus, at the border between the constellations of Perseus and Aries, vdB 12 is a small reflection nebula around the star HD 21110 which gives the yellowish color to the nebula (upper left part of the 'picture).

The blue reflection nebula vdB 13 is illuminated by light coming from the blue star HIP 15984 (slightly above the center of the image).

VdB 17 designates the bluish-reflective component of the famous Embryo Nebula NGC1333 located in the lower left part of the image.

VdB 16 is the blue reflection nebula at the lower right. Located at the end of the molecular cloud of Perseus, it nevertheless belongs to the constellation of Aries.

Throughout the region, star formation phenomena are active, evidenced by the presence of many young stellar objects.  

Photo: Piero Venturi with RASA 11 and QHY168C

vdb12131617 piero venturi rasa11 qhy168c.jpg

vdB 14 and 15

VdB14 and VdB15 are reflection nebulae located approximately 2,600 light-years away within a large dust cloud in the constellation Giraffe. VdB 14 is illuminated by HD 21291, and vdB 15  by HD 21389, which are two variable blue supergiant stars.  

Vdb14 and vdB 15 are very close to each other and close to the large emission nebula SH2-202.

Photo :  vdB14 (right) & vdB15 (left) by Lukas Nestak with Newton 250mm and 6D cannon

vdb14 et 15 Lukas nestak newton 10 canon 6d.jpg

vdB 16

VdB 16 is a small reflection nebula in the constellation Aries, illuminated by the magnitude 9 star HIP 16170, and located at the end of the large molecular cloud of  Perseus.

The dark nebulae Barnard 204 (or LDN 1455) and Barnard 202 (or LDN 1451) are connected and throughout the region star formation phenomena are active, evidenced by the presence of young stellar objects.

The distance to the complex is estimated to be 980 light years from the solar system.

Photo: Nurinniska with Newton 200mm f / 6 and QHY 8L

vdb16 nurinniska newton 200f6 qhy8L.jpg

vdB 17

NGC 1333 is a  nebula located in the  constellation Perseus . It belongs as seen above to the  Perseus molecular cloud .

Although cataloged as a reflection nebula, it is a complex including in particular the obscure nebula LDN450 (left part), the reflection nebula vdB17 (central bluish part), the bright nebula LDN1450 to the right of vdb17, then the nebula obscure  Barnard 205 right. Numerous Herbig-Haro objects dot the complex as well as other small reflection nebulae surrounding young stars.

Photo: Fluorite Zhu with TSA120 and Atik One 6.0

vdb17 fluorine zhu tsa 120 atik one6.jpg

VdB 18


VdB 18 is a small reflection nebula in the constellation Perseus located on the northern edge of the Perseus molecular cloud (upper left part of the image), about half a degree northeast of the open cluster NGC 1342 visible in the center of this image.

The nebula is illuminated by the blue variable star HD 22114 (V496 Persei) located  about 900 light years away.

Photo: Andreas Zirke with Epsilon 130 and Atik One 9.0

vdb18 andreas zirke.jpg

vdB 19

Also located in this fascinating star-forming region of the cloud ​​​​ Molecular Perseus, vdB19 (or IC 348) is the blue reflection nebula near the 3.8 magnitude star Omicron Persei.

Nearby are the nebulaeobscure Barnard 3 and 4,  the emission nebula LBN 749, as well as several Herbig-Haro objects and other reflection nebulae and obscure nebulae.

Photo: Anis Abdul with FSQ106 and QHY600

vdb19 anis abdul fsq106 qhy600.jpg

Photo below: a panoramic of the region by Yann Sainty with fsq106 and ASI2600mm (mosaic 2 panels) allowing to locate the objects seen previously from vdb12 to vdb19

vdb19 yann sty fsq106 asi2600mm.jpg

vdB 20 to 23

The Pleiades (Messier 45) are an open cluster of stars located in the constellation Taurus, among the closest to Earth, clearly visible to the naked eye and offering a striking spectacle to binoculars.

The cluster is dominated by hot, extremely bright blue stars that have formed over the past 100 million years.

The dust that forms a faint reflective cloud around the brightest stars is an unrelated dust cloud in the interstellar medium, through which starlight passes.

Estimates are that the cluster will survive for another 250 million years, after which it will disperse due to gravitational interactions with its galactic neighborhood.

In 1966 Sidney van den Bergh cataloged four reflection nebulae and put them in his catalog  :

-  vdB20 surrounds the star Electra

- vdB21 (Maia nebula) surrounds the stars Maia, Stérope and Taygeta

-  vdB22 (Merope Nebula) surrounds the star Merope

-  vdB23 surrounds the star Alcyone.

Pictures :

- opposite M45 by Cyril Besson and Alexkid with Askar Fra400mm and ASI2600

- opposite vdB20 by Christopher Gomez with RC8 f / 8 and QSI690

-below vd B 21, 22 and 23 by Lluis Romero Ventura with RC14 f / 8 and G3-11000

vdb20 pleiades_cyril_retouche.jpg
vdb20 christopher gomez rc8 qsi690.jpg
vdb21&22&23 Lluis romero ventura rc14 f8 g311000.jpg

vdB 24  

A small reflection nebula from the constellation Perseus, nestled within the dark nebula LDN1442.

We find very few images of this object which is small but remains accessible and very photogenic.

Photos: Gregg L. Ruppel with Newton 10 "f / 3.6 and STL11000M

vdB24 greg l ruppel.jpg

vdb 26

VdB 26 is a small reflection nebula in the constellation Taurus illuminated by the 6.24 magnitude star HD 26676 located at a distance of about 502 light years.

Photo: Dhaval Brahmbhatt with C11HD and QHY600. The distant galaxy cluster Abell 478 is visible in the upper right of the image.

vdb26 dhaval brahmbhatt c11hd qhy600.png

vdB 27

Small reflection nebula located at the heart of the vast molecular cloud of the constellation Taurus and illuminated by the radiation of the variable star RY Tauri, a T Tauri star (therefore very young) with a very high speed of rotation.  

VdB 17 is the nebula at the top of the image located at the end of the dark nebula LDN 785.

To the right of the center of the image, the larger reflection nebula LBN 782 (or Ced 30) and the dark nebulae Barnard 7 and 10.

In the left part of the image the great dark nebula LDN 1495, as well as other reflections or HH objects and dark nebulae in the right part of this rich field.

Photo: Marcel Drechsler with RASA 11 / TS100Q and Canon 50D debayérisé / Canon 5D mk2 Baader

vdb27 drechsler rasa11 canon 5d.jpg

vdB 28

Vdb28, or NGC 1555 (also called the Hind variable nebula), is a  variable nebula  through  reflection  located about 600 light years into the  constellation  of Taurus and  variable star lit  T Tauri. O n considers that NGC 1555 is a  Herbig-Haro object  associated with the triple system of T Tauri.

Photo: Ola Skarpen with AG Optical FA14 and kaf16200

vdb28 ola skarpen.png

vdB 29 and 31

VdB 29 is a reflection nebula of the constellation Taurus, on the border with the Coachman, lit by the star HD 30378 which gives the nebula its bluish color. It is located about 640 light years away in the Taurus Molecular Cloud Complex, an intense area of star formation.

VdB 31 is a reflection nebula located about 470 light-years away in the constellation Coachman and which surrounds the magnitude 7 star HD 31293 (or AB Aurigae). It is also housed in the  Taurus molecular cloud complex,

Near VdB 31, the obscure Barnard nebulae 26, 27 and 28 mask starlight from regions behind the nebula complex.

AB Aurigae is a well-known and intensely studied star due to its protoplanetary disk with a particularly complex structure, apparently organized in the form of a spiral with two arms of rays of more than 230 and 330 AU (AU = Earth-Sun distance).

Photo: vdB29 (right) & vdB31 (left near the obscure Barnard nebulae 26,27 and 28) by Dominique Dierick with Epsilon180 and ASI2600MC

vdb29 vdb31 dominique dierick.jpg

vdB 33

VdB 33, or NGC 1788, is a reflection nebula located in Orion about 2 degrees north of the star Eridani, in the western part of the constellation. NGC 1788 is located at the end of the obscure nebula LDN 1616.

The distance from this nebulous complex is estimated to be 1,470 light years.

Note the presence of ionized hydrogen (red) in the region.

Photo: Laubing with FSQ106 and kaf16200 

vdb33 laubing fsq106 sbig16200.jpg

vdB 34

VdB 24 (also known as IC405, SH 2-229, Caldwell 31 or even Flaming Star Nebula) is an emission / reflection nebula in the constellation Coachman, surrounding the irregular variable star AE Aurigae.

The hydrogen which mainly makes up IC 405 is ionized by the radiation received from AE​​ Aurigae, giving it its red color.

The blue areas are due to the reflection of the star's blue light on the dark dust.

The complex is located approximately 1,500 light years from Earth.

Photo: Alan Pham with Stellarue SV4 and ASI1600mm

vdb34 alan pham stellarvue sv4 asi1600mm.jpg

vdB 35 and vdB 37

Two small reflection nebulae from the constellation Orion located about 7 ° north of the star Bellatrix (see large field vdb 38 below).

VdB 35 is bluish (bottom left) and vdB 37 is yellowish (top right).

Photo: Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov with Newton 12 "f / 3.6 and STL11000


vdB 36

Also called NGC 1909, IC 2118, or the Witch's Head nebula, vdB 36 is a  reflection nebula  of very low light intensity and located about 300 light years into the  constellation  of Eridanus. It is believed to be an ancient remnant of a supernova illuminated by neighboring supergiant Rigel ( Beta Orionis) .

The reflection nebula on the lower left of the image is LBN968.

Photo: Olly Penrice with FSQ106 and ATIK 11000

vdb36 olly penrice fsq106 atik11000.jpg

Photo below: a large field of Yokoyama Kasuak with Pentax 125 and Nikon D810A refractor (3 panel mosaic). Along with vdB 37, we find the nebulae NGC 1788 and vdB 33 seen above.

vdb36 yokoyama kasuak pendax 125 canon 6d.jpg

vdB 38

Located in the constellation Orion, close to the star Bellatrix, the raspberry nebula is composed of an emission part (red) named Sh2-263 and a reflection part (blue) named vdB38. The central star is HD 34989.

Photos: Jarrett Trezo with RASA11 and QHY367C. The nebula on the left is Sh2-265, and on the right part of Sh2-264 (Lambda Orionis) is visible.


vdb38 jarrett trezo rasa11 qhy367c.png

Photo below: large field of Marukawa with 135mm f / 2 and D810A allowing to locate vdB38 close to the large region Hii sh2-264 and the star Bellatrix. The 2nd big star on the left is Betelgeuse. You can also see vdb 35 and 37 in the upper left part of the image.

vdb38 marukawa 135 f2 d810A.jpg

vdB 42, 44 and 46

Two small reflection nebulae located very close to the large Orion nebula M42.

VdB 42 (to the right of M42 in the image) is illuminated by the star HD 36412, a variable white star with eclipse. The light from this star gives the surrounding gas a bluish-white color. With a distance of 1,250 light years, the nebula and its associated star would be physically located in the ionized gas region of the Orion Nebula.

VdB 44 (to the right of the Running Man NGC1977 nebula) also belongs to the same star formation region. It appears in the blue, due to the radiation of the stars which are immersed in it. The brightest member and the main light source is HD 36540, a variable blue giant, whose distance is 1762 light years.

Vdb46 is the reflection nebula in the lower part of the image, under M42 (see also next image).

The whole region is affected by intense star formation phenomena, both recent and still ongoing, as evidenced by the presence of several HH objects and other structures related to young stellar objects.

Note that NGC1977, the Running Man nebula, is itself a fantastic reflection nebula (not vdb cataloged) composed of several reflection nebulae separated by portions of dark nebulae. The entire complex is named SH2-279 and includes the objects NGC1973, NGC1975 and NGC1977.

Photo: Gianni Fardelli with RASA11 and QHY367C

m42 gianni fardelli.jpg

vdB 46

Vdb 46, or NGC 1999, is a reflection nebula illuminated by light from the star variable V380 Orionis.

The bright dust-filled nebula has a vast hole of empty space at its center represented by a black patch of sky, which can be seen in photographs taken with large telescopes.

The size of this dark hole is around 10,000  AU , or about 0.16  light year . It was previously believed that the black spot was a  dark nebula , that is, a dense cloud of dust and gas that blocks the light of stars located behind it. However, the observation of this black spot by the space telescope  infrared  Herschel  in October 2009 and then further observations that followed showed that the dark spot of NGC 1999 is black not because it is an extremely dense pocket of gas dust, but because it is a real region. empty .

Although the origin of this void is still being investigated, many believe that it was probably hollowed out by several star jets from some of the young stars in the region that pierced the dust and gas sheet, as well as 'powerful radiation from a nearby mature star that may have helped create the hole.

The researchers believe that this discovery should lead to a better understanding of the entire process of star formation.

Photo: SCObservatory (RiDK 400 Team: Mike Selby, Leo Orazi, John Kasianowicz, Rick Stevenson, Josh Balsam and Scott Johnson) with RIDK400 and FLI 16803 (vdB 46 is in the center of the image and a multitude of objects dot this field very rich very close to the famous Orion nebula M42).

vdb 46 sco mike selby etc.jpg

vdB 47

VdB 47 is a reflection nebula associated with an emission located in the constellation Taurus. It is a cloud of gas that surrounds the star HD 37387, an orange supergiant located at a distance of 6,500 light years, at the inner edge of Perseus' arm.

The nebula presents a marked orange color due to the radiation of this star, and has an effective temperature of 4500 Kelvin. The cloud can be associated with a region of star formation which also includes the DG 68 maser and the IRAS 05363 + 2317 source, as well as some radio wave sources.

Photo: KuriousGeorge with CDK24 and ASI6200

vdb47 kuriousgeorge cdk24 asi6200.jpg

Photo below: a large field of Steed Yu with Newton 150 f / 2.8 and QHY268C showing the passage of comet 67P / Churyumov – Gerasimenko near vdB 47 not far from the Crab Nebula M1 on October 8 and 10, 2021.

vdb47 steed yu 150 f2.8 qhy268c.jpg

vdB 48

VdB 48 is the blue reflection nebula in the center of the image, illuminated by the star HIP 26494.

IC 426 (Ced 55, DG 61, LBN 921) is the oddly shaped nebula to the right of the center. Some of the other smaller nebulae surrounding it are also cataloged (DG 62, DG 63 and DG 65 from right to left).

The two blue nebulae at the bottom left are DG 73 (LBN 927) and DG 71 (LBN 925). 

This area is located just above the Orion belt.

Photo: Dan Crowson with AT90EDT f / 6.7 and kaf8300 scope

vdb48 d crowson.jpg

Photo below: a large field of the Orion belt by Tadayoshi with Epsilon 180 / fsq85 and kaf16200 / kaf8300 allowing to locate vdB 48 (upper part)

orion belt tadayoshi.jpg

vdB 49 to 58

Objects vdB49 to vdB 58 are small reflection nebulae of the constellation Orion, some of which are very close to the horse's head nebula (B33 / IC434) and clearly visible on the photos of this area included in the great molecular cloud of Orion, a gigantic area of star formation.

The most remarkable of these small reflecting nebulae is undoubtedly vdb 52, which is also the closest to the famous horse's head.  

Photos: Craig Prost with CCA 250 telescope and kaf16803 showing: left of NGC 2024 (the flame nebula) vdb 50 and vdb 51,  and under B33 and IC434 (the horse's head) vdb 52 then vdb 57


vdb50&51&52&57 craig prost cca250 kaf16000.png

vdB 59 and 60

Messier 78  is a complex of nebulae located about 1,600 light years away in the constellation Orion, the brightest of which is vdB 59 in the center of the image, and vdB 60 the other reflection nebula to its right in the image . Two magnitude 10 stars, HD 38563A and HD 38563B, are reflected by this cloud of dust.

About 45 variable stars of the T Tauri type, young stars still in the process of formation as well as some 17 Herbig-Haro objects are known in this region of the Orion molecular cloud.

Photo: Leo Shatz with Newton 500mm and FLI16803

vdb59&60 leo shatz newton 500mm fli16803.jpg

vdB 62 and 63

Located near the much more famous M78, LDN 1622 (the Boogie Man Nebula)  is the dark nebula in the center of the image, located about 500 light years away and highlighted by (red) nebulosities located behind it some 1600 light years away (on the same principle as Barnard 33, the dark nebula of the horse's head, located in front of the nebula in emission IC434). These red nebulosities belong to the gigantic emission nebula called Barnard's loop.

The smaller, more inconspicuous dark nebula to the left of LDN1622 is named LDN1621.  

VdB 62 is the reflection nebula located at the right end of LDN1622 and vdB 63 is the reflection nebula located just below.


Photo: Rafael Schmall  with Newton 200mm f / 4 and QHY 168C

vdb6263 rafael schmall newton 200800 canon 6d.jpg

Photo below: a large Jenafan field with Redcat51 and Canon 600dA allowing to locate M78 and LDN1622 on either side of the Barnard loop. The open cluster near the center is NGC 2112.

vdb59-63 jenafan redcat51 canon600da.jpg

vdB 64

VdB 64 is a reflection nebula located about 1386 light years away in the constellation Hare and which appears as a bluish gas spot surrounding a magnitude 10.68 star and a small open cluster of young stars.

Photo: Bernard Hubl with RC20 "and kaf16803

vdb64 bernard hubl rc20 kaf16803.jpg

vdB 65

VdB 65 is a reflection nebula in the constellation Coachman, near the border with Gemini, illuminated by a magnitude 10.6 star located about 3,600 light-years away.

It is a small part of the large molecular cloud LDN 1557, which in turn is part of a large obscure molecular nebula complex that also includes LDN 1550, LDN 1555, and LDN 1560.  

It is also located close to the emission nebula Sh2-241, which is about 15,000 light years away.

Photo: Antonio F. Sanchez with SBB 135/930 refractor and kaf16200

vdb65 antonio f sanchez cff135930 g316200.jpg

vdB 67 to 74

In the constellation Unicorn, just east of Orion and at the edge of Barnard's Loop, here is one of the most colorful and fantastic areas of the sky: an incredible collection of reflection nebulae, dust and of a subtle dose of ionized hydrogen in a molecular star-forming cloud called My R2 (Monoceros = Unicorn).

The distance to this giant molecular cloud is estimated to be only 2,400 light years from Earth.

The vdB reflection nebulae visible in this image are  VdB 67, 68, 69 (in the center of the image, included in the complex named Angel Nebula or NGC2170, more precisely in its upper part on the image), vdB 70 (a little higher and to the left), and vdB 72, 73 and 74 (follow each other starting from Angel Nebula towards the lower-left direction).

The dark nebulae LDN 1644, 1645, and 1646 are close to vdB 70.

Photo: Rogelio Bernal Andreo with FSQ106 f / 3.6 and STL11000

angel nebula wide field.jpg

vdB 67, 68, 69 and 72

A close-up view of Angel Nebula, consisting of  these 4 bluish reflection nebulae around the reddish central part called LBN 999.

Photo: Juan Lozano with MN190 and kaf8300

vdb67&68&69 &72juan lozanp mn190 st8300.jpg

vdB 75

VdB 75 is a bluish reflection nebula surrounding the giant star 12 Gem, apparent magnitude 6.95 located in the constellation Gemini. It is very close to the reflection nebula IC 444, to its right in the image, itself associated with the H2 region called BFS51.

This set is located very close to the famous Medusa nebula IC443.

Photo: Toshiya Arai with CCA250 and QSI6120

vdb75 toshiya arai cca250 qsi6120.jpg

vdB 77, 78, 79, and 82

Many objects are present in this area of the Unicorn molecular complex near the Cone Nebula, part of which is visible at the top left of this image. The region's distance is estimated to be 2,480 light years, which places it on the outer edge of Orion's arm, near the inter-arm area between it and Perseus' arm.

The large blue reflecting nebula located on the left side of the image is IC 447 (also cataloged as IC 2169). 

VdB 77 is a small nebula superimposed on the larger VdB 78, both located on the southeast edge of IC 447 (end  ga e uch of it in the photo) and  lit by the star HD 258853,  a blue star of magnitude 8.83.

To the right of IC 447, close to the obscure nebula LDN 1607, is the reflection nebula IC 446.

Just above the latter, in the center of the image is the vdB 79 nebula.

Finally in the upper part, the reflection nebula NGC 2245 is located on the left  of the vdB 82 reflection nebula (or  NGC 2247), itself located at the edge of the great obscure nebula Barnard 37 and surrounding the star HD 259431.  

Photo: T. Space with Epsilon 180 and  QHY695A

vdb77 78 79 82 t space.jpg

vdB 81

The vdB81 reflection nebula ( IC 448) is located between NCC 2261 (cone nebula) and NGC 2237 (rosette nebula) and is illuminated by the star 13 Monocerotis (HD 46300) of magnitude 4.47.

Photo: on this large field image of Alcarreno with fsq106 and caon 6D (mosaic of 2 images) vdB81 is located a little above the center and we can find all the vdb objects 77 to 82. We also note the beautiful reflection nebula (not vdb cataloged) housed within the Fox Fur nebula, close to the cone nebula.

vdb81 alcarreno fsq106.jpg

vdB 85

VdB 85 (or NGC 2282) is a small reflection nebula of the constellation Unicorn, surrounding the open cluster OC1535 which illuminates it with its light.

Photo: Adam Block with RC32 "and kaf16803

vdb 85 adam block rc32 kaf16803.jpg

Photo below: Mario Weigand's large field with Pentax 105/670 and STL11000 refractor. VdB 85 is visible at the top of this image, close to the large Hii sh2-284 region and the open cluster NGC 2301.

vdb85 mario.jpg

VdB 88 to 95

The Seagull Nebula (or Sh2-292 - 296), sometimes wrongly called  IC 2177 which designates the head of the seagull, is an emission nebula visible at the border between the constellations of Unicorn and Canis Major, at about 9 degrees Sirius within the Canis Major OB1 stellar association. Many reflection nebulae are contained in this object, which is a large HII region with active star formation, the most notable of which are vdB 93 (the head of the Seagull), the couple vdB88 / vdB90 in the lower right part of the image, or vdb94 at the bottom of the image, at the end of the wing of the Seagull.

Photo: TEAM Ciel Austral with TEC160 and kaf16803 (mosaic of 4 images)

vdb88-95 ciel austral tec 160 g416000.jpg

VdB 96

VdB 96 is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Canis Major, illuminated by HD 57281 which gives the surrounding gas a distinctly bluish color, and is part of the LDN 1660 molecular cloud.

The red nebulosities of ionized hydrogen visible in this image are extensions of the large emission nebula SH2-310.

Photo: Cedic Team with RC20 "f / 9 and kaf16803

vdb96_full_herbert walter rc20 f9 kaf16803.jpg

VdB 99

Vdb 99 is a reflection nebula of the constellation Scorpio illuminated by the star of magnitude 2.87 π Sco visible in the center of the image. It is in the foreground of the emission nebula sh2-1 (see very large field image of the scorpion below).

Photo: Mark with Newton 10 "and STL11000

vdb99 mark asa10 stl11000.jpg

Vdb 100 to 103

IC 4592 (the Blue Horse Head) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Scorpio. Located in the northern part of the constellation, in the region of the Rho Ophiuchi molecular complex, it is a vast nebulous system that receives blue light from its nearest star, a blue subgiant of magnitude 4.13 ν Scorpii located 5.5 light years away.

LDN1721 is the large dark nebula whose illuminated part is IC4592 and this latter includes the vdB 100 reflection nebula which corresponds to its brightest part visible near ν Scorpii (left portion of the image).

VdB 101, 102 and 103 are four of them the 3 smaller reflection nebulae located in the right part of the image.

Photo: Bastien Foucher with Borg 101ED and ATIK 460 telescope

vdb100 bastien foucher.jpg

vdB 104 to 108

The Rho Ophiuchi complex is a  giant molecular cloud  of the  Milky Way  partly composed of ionized hydrogen  and of  dark dust . It owes its name to the star  which dominates the region in which it is located,  Rho Ophiuchi , herself located three  degrees  north of Antares , in the  constellation  of Ophiuchus .

With a distance of only 420  light years , it is one of the regions of  star formation  closest to  solar system, but it is also  one of the most amazing and colorful regions of the sky. It contains a vast mixture of emission and reflection nebulae, dust trails obscuring background stars, and several star clusters.

The yellow giant Antares is the brightest star and is surrounded by an emission nebula (bottom left) and a very rare and beautiful nebula with yellow reflection.

The small bluish reflection nebula above Antares is vdB 108 (IC 4605), reflecting light from the magnitude 4.5 star 22 Scorpius.

To the right of Antares, the bright star Al Nyat (Sigma Scorpii) is surrounded by vdB 104 as well as by the emission nebula Sh2-9.

At the top of the image is the triple star Rho Ophiuchus which is surrounded by vdB 106 (IC4604), a large blue reflecting nebula.

Under vdb 106, in the center of the image, is the reflection nebula vdb 105 (IC 4603).

Note the brilliant globular cluster M4 at the bottom of the image as well as the small globular cluster NGC 6144 closer to Antares.

Photo: Mohammad Nouroozi with Epsilon 180 and Canon 5D

vdb104-108 mohammad nouroozi e180 canon5d.jpg

Photo below: a mosaic of 25 images produced by Wei-Hao Wang with Epsilon 180 and Nikon D810A and grouping together all the nebulae seen previously including vdb 99 to vdb 108 (Dark Shark nebula, Rho Ophiuchi complex, Sh2-7 and SH2-1 in particular).

vdb99-108 wei-hao wang.jpg

vdB 115

VdB 115 (IC 4684) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Sagittarius, not far from the famous M8 and M20 nebulae. It is illuminated by the magnitude 10 star of HD 165872 (upper left part of the image) and is near the nebula IC 1274 / IC1275.

In the right part of the image, the reflection nebula IC4685 and the emission nebula NGC 6559 are also visible.  

We also note the dark nebulae Barnard 91, 302, and 303.

Photo: Rick Stevenson with T300 f / 4.9 and kaf16803 

vdb115 rick stevenson.jpg

vdB 118 and 119

Vdb 118 (NGC6589) and vdB 119 (NGC 6590) are two reflection nebulae surrounding two young blue stars, in the constellation Sagittarius.

They are located near the HII region  Sh2-37 located in the center of the image.

Photo: Tommy Nawratil with Newton 200mm f / 2.8 and ASI1600

vdb118&119 tommy nawratil 200 f2.8 asi1600.jpg

vdB 123

VdB 123 is a reflection nebula located in the tail constellation of  Serpent (Serpens Cauda) and lit by the star HD 170634 of magnitude 9.75. It started from a dark molecular cloud known as the Serpent Nebula.

Many Herbig-Haro objects are present in this molecular cloud, as well as the remarkable nebula with yellowish reflection located near vdB123 and named Eso0736c.

Photo: Greg Turgeon with CDK17 "and kaf16803

vdb123 greg turgeon cdk 17 fli16803.jpg

Photo below: Overview of the Serpent nebula by Raguramm with ES127 and QHY268m telescope. On the right the planetary nebula SH2-68.

vdb 123 raguramm es127 qhy268.jpg

vdB 124


V dB 124 (or IC 1287) is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Sobieski's Ecu and illuminated by the magnitude 5 star HD 170740, at a distance of about 700 light years.

In the upper left corner of the image is the open cluster NGC 6649 and in the lower part the Hii Sh2-55 region.

Photo: APO TEAM with TOA150 and kaf16803

vdb124 apo team toa150 kaf16000.jpg

vdB 126

Located in the constellation of the little fox, vdB 126 (LBN 134) is the left reflection nebula in this image, illuminated by the star of HD 182918 of magnitude 8.6. The other reflection nebula on the right is LBN 768. The dark nebula on the left of VdB 126 is LDN 768, and the dark nebula in the upper right of the image is LDN 772.

Photo :  Francesco Wueest with TS 76edph and ASI2600MC telescope

vdb126 francesco wueest.jpg

vdB 131 and 132

NGC 6914 is a small system of reflecting nebulae located in the constellation Cygnus. Its components are NGC 6914A (or VDB 132) in the center, NGC 6914B (VDB 131) on the left,  and NGC 6914C on the right.

These reflection nebulae are associated with the large nebula complex IC 1318 at a distance of about 5500 light years), close to the Cygnus OB2 association. The image also contains the obscure nebulae LBN 897 (left) and LBN 899 (right).

Photo: Bob Franke with RC12.5 "and STL11000

vdb130&131&132 bob franke rc12.5 stl11000.jpg

Photo below: A larger field of the zone by Alain Tamas with Newton 200/1000 and kaf8300

vdb130&131 alain tamas newton 2001000 8300.jpg

vdB 133

VdB 133 is a reflection nebula located in the Cygnus about 3 degrees from the star Sadr. It receives and reflects the light of the star 44 Cygni, a yellow supergiant of magnitude 6.17. Its distance is about 1583 light years, close to the great nebulous system of the Cygnus Fissure.

The emission nebula located in the upper right of the image is SH2-106.

Photo: Joel Short  with SV152 f / 8 and KAF16200 scope

vdb133 buck sv152 f8 et kaf16200.jpg

vdB 134

VdB 134 is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Cygnus which reflects the light of the star ω1 Cygni, a blue subgiant of magnitude 4.93. Its distance is about 869 light years, which places it well in the foreground compared to the large nebulous system IC 1318 visible in the background.

To the left of VdB 134, we can see the very faint circular planetary nebula PLN 86 + 5 1.

Photo: Thomas Hennes with Newton 10 "f / 3.6 and kaf8300

vdb134 thomas hennes newton 10 f3.6 fli8300.png

Photo below: a large area field by Rhedden with Esprit 100 and QHY268m

vdb 134 rhedden.jpg

vdB 136

VdB 136 is a reflection nebula of the constellation Cygnus, located in the north-central part of the constellation, just over 2 ° SSW from the bright star Deneb. The nebula surrounds the HD 196819 star, a red giant  having an apparent magnitude of 7.55.

Its distance is about 2510 light years.

Vdb136 is located in the center of the image, below the emission nebulae LBN 312. The obscure nebula located  under vdB 136 is named LDN 906.

Photo: Thomas Lelu with Newton 10 "f / 3.6 and Canon RA

vdb136 thomas lelu newton 10 canon RA.jpg

vdB 137

VdB 137 (or IC 5076) is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Cygnus, about 2 ° north of the central part of the NGC7000 nebula. It is linked to the star HD 199478, a blue supergiant of magnitude 5.73 whose distance is estimated at 5,700 light years.

Photo: George Chassaigne RC500 and FLI4040

vdb137 chassaign.jpg

Photo below: a large field of Gabriel Siegl with fsq85 and Canon 6D. Vdb 137 is in the lower right corner and the great dark nebula is LDN 988 which also contains two reflection nebulae: LBN 408 and 409.

vdb137 gabriel siegl fsq85 canon 6d.jpg

vdB 139

VdB 139 (NGC 7023), the famous Iris Nebula, is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Cepheus. It reflects the light of a few nearby stars, probably mainly the magnitude 7 star HD 200775 as well as other less bright stars born from its dust. The nebula is located about 1,400 light years away and is about 6 light years in size.

It probably part of the vast molecular nebula complex of Cepheus.

Photo: Miles Zhou with AP175 and FLI16070

vdb139 Miles ZHOU AP175 FLI16070.jpg

vdB 140

VdB 140 is a reflection nebula located about 2,500 light years away in the constellation Cepheus and illuminated by the star V421 Cep, a blue giant of magnitude 6. It is close to the nebula Sh2-129, part of which is visible in the upper left corner of the image.

Photo: Tom Carrico with AP130 scope and kaf 8300


vdB 141

VdB 141 (or Sh2-136) often called the Phantom of Cepheus nebula, is a reflection nebula located about 1470 light years within a large molecular cloud of the constellation Cepheus. It is illuminated by the star still in formation BD + 67 1300.

VdB 141 is located in the western part of the constellation, about one degree east of the Iris Nebula.

The central blood cell is known by the acronym CB 230.

Photo: Ivan Eder with Newton 12 "f / 3.8 and QSI683

vdb141 eder ivan newton12f3.8 qsi683.jpg

Photo below: large field by Matthieu Tequi with 72/400 telescope and ASI2600MC showing the proximity of vdb 139 and vdb 141 within the molecular cloud of Cepheus. The dark nebula at the left end of the image is LBN 483.

vdb141 matthieu tequi askar 400 asi2600mc.jpg

vdB 142

IC 1396, sometimes identified as the Elephant Trunk Nebula, is more precisely a star cluster in the middle of which is the dense globule IC 1396A (the elephant trunk), a site of intense star formation containing several very young stars.

VdB 142 is the reflection nebula located at the end of the proboscis and illuminated by the star HD 239710.  

Photo: Sébastien Kuenlin with RC16 and ASI2600mm

vdb142 sebastien kuenlin rc400 asi2600mm.jpg

vdB 146

NGC 7129 is an open cluster of the constellation Cepheus, surrounded by the reflection nebula vdb 146.

This is a young region of compact star formation that shows a colorful mix of nebulosities, bright stars, and clouds​​ dust from the Milky Way. The distance to the complex is estimated to be 3,300 light years.

Many small emitting nebulae around young developing stars (protostars) are visible in this close-up image, including HH 167 which is one of the largest examples of a Herbig-Haro object with its diameter of 7.5 minutes of arc.

Eric Coles & Mel Helm RC16 f / 9 and STXL11002

vdb146 eric coles RC16f9 stkxl11002.jpg

Photo below: a larger field including the open cluster NGC 7142 by Pavel Karavatskiy with Newton 10 "f / 4 and QHY168m

vdb146 pavel karavatskiy newton 10.png

vdB 147

IC 5146 is an open cluster associated with the SH2-125 emission nebula (the ensemble is also referred to as Caldwell 19 or Cocoon Nebula) in the constellation Cygnus at a distance of approximately 3,300 light years.

Vdb 147 is the small reflection nebula located in this image above the Cocoon, illuminated by the blue star of magnitude 10.16 V1578 Cygni.  

Photo: Michael and Jon Norman with CDK17 and QHY600

vdb147 Michael et jon norman cdk17 kaf16803.jpg

Photo below: the Cocoon in its rich environment by Giovanni Paglioli with Epsilon 210 and kaf8300

vdb147 giovanni paglioli.jpg

vdB 149-150

Located in the cloud​​ Molecular of Cepheus, about 1019 light-years away, the great obscure Dark Shark nebula LDN 1235 contains the two reflection nebulae Vdb 149 (bottom)  and VdB 150 (top).

In fact, although VdB 149 seems to be part of it, studies on the radial speed indicate that it would be in its direction only by the effect of perspective. The star responsible for the illumination of VdB 149 is BD + 72 1018, a white-blue main star which gives a distinctly bluish color to the gases and dust it illuminates.

VdB 150 is illuminated by the sub-giant star HD 210806.

Photo: Donghun Kim with FSQ106 and Nikon D810A

vdb149&150 donghun kim fsq106 d810a.jpg

vdB 151 and 152

In this rich field of the constellation Cepheus, the obscure Barnard Nebula 175 (or LDN 1217) is a region where dust condenses to form protostars, or Bok globules. Inside the nebula is the white-blue star BD + 69 1231 of magnitude 9.29 whose radiation gives the surrounding gas a distinctly bluish color, thus producing the nebula by reflection VdB 152.

The distance from the structure is estimated to be around 1300 light years.

The planetary nebula DeHt-5 is also visible in this image (lower right corner), as well as part of the SNR 110.3 + 11.3 supernova afterglow whose filaments of ionized hydrogen (red) cross the field.

Photo: Adam Landefeld with Epsilon 130 and QHY163

vdb152 adam landefeld e130 qhy163.jpg

Photo below: a large field of Idir Saci with FSQ106 and G4-16000 allowing to locate vdb152 among the wonders of molecular cloud of Cepheus, in particular the Dark Shark nebula seen above and containing vdB149 and vdb150, but also the small one reflection nebula vdB151 right in the center of the image.

vdb150&151&152 idir saci fsq106 g416000.jpg

vdB 153

VdB 153 is a reflection nebula (lower part of the image) located in the constellation Cepheus about half a degree from the Hii Sh2-140 region (in the center of the image), illuminated by the blue star BD + 61 2292.  

The dark nebula to the left of SH2-140 is LDN 1204.

Photo: Richard Sweeney with Epsilon 130 and ASI2600MC

vdb153 richard sweeney e130 asi2600mc.jpg

vdB 154

Vdb 154 is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Cepheus, close to the emission nebula SH2-150.

Photo: Jens Zippel with Epsilon 130 / Newton 10 "and ASI1600 / Atik490

vdb154 jens zippel epsilon 130 newton 10.jpg

Photo below: a large Zombie field with FSQ106 and G3-16200: vdb 154 and sh2-150 top left, sh2-145 in the center, and sh2-140 bottom right.

vdb154 zombi rev.jpg

vdB 155

VdB 155 is a reflection nebula of the constellation Cepheus, within the obscure nebula  LDN 1216 (upper right part of the image), lit by the blue giant  HD 216629 of magnitude 9.37 which gives the nebula its color.

The complex is located very close to the Cave nebula SH2-155,   an ionized H II region with intense ongoing star formation activity located about 2400 light years away. The Cave nebula is at the edge of the Cepheus B cloud (part of the Cepheus molecular cloud), and is ionized by very young stars (less than 100,000 years old) from the Cep OB3 association.  

Photo: Barry Wilson with FSQ106 and QSI683

vdb155 barry wilson fsq106 qsi683.jpg

vdB 158

VdB 158 is a reflection nebula located in the constellation Andromeda,  illuminated part of the long dark cloud of gas and dust LBN 534, the elongated shape of which is said to be the result of the collision between two clouds​​ molecular.

It is illuminated by two white-blue dwarfs cataloged as HD 222046 and HD 222086, as well as by the star HD 222142, mainly responsible for the reflection. These three stars show common motion, indicating that they are a group of stars that are physically related to each other and have a common origin. Their distance of about 1435 light years places them in the same region as the OB Lacerta OB1 association.

The tiny planetary nebula PLN 110-12.1 is visible just below LBN534, at Vdb158.

Photo: Frank Sackenheim  with telescope TMB 80/600 and kaf8300

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