NGC 1499 is commonly known as the California Nebula. This common name is due to its general outline resembling that of the US state of California. The nebula is large and extends approximately 2.5 degrees across the sky. It has a low surface brightness and is somewhat difficult to observe visually but is a striking object for long exposure astronomical imaging. NGC 1499 is classified as an emission nebula which is excited to fluoresce by Xi Persei, a very energetic O7 class star. This star is located at the lower right of the image above. The California Nebula lies in the constellation Perseus approximately 1000 light-years distant.