IC 1287 in the constellation Scutum (the Shield)

This faint but relatively large reflection nebula is located in the western part of the small constellation Shield. The light of the bright star HD 170740 is scattered by thin gas and dust clouds up to a distance of about 2 light years and forms the reflection nebula.

In the western (at the right hand side) glow of HD 170740 the fainter star HD 170740B is visible in the image. The angular separation between the two stars is about 12 arcseconds. Under the assumption of an equal distance to our solar system this results in a minimum distance of 2700 astronomical units (distance Earth - Sun) between the two stars.

larger image
Optics: Planewave CDK 12.5 with Televue 0.8x reducer
Aperture: 318 mm
Focal Length: 2030 mm
Camera: Canon EOS 700Dac
Exposure: 20 x 300 s
Location: Chamaeleon Observatory, Onjala Lodge, Namibia
Processing: Nebulosity, StarTools, Starnet++, Photoshop
Diameter:4.5 light years
Distance:740 light years
annotated image

image field in the sky