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Hind's variable nebula


I haven’t come across many images of this on SGL, probably because due to it’s small apparent size.  Anyway, I think the area is interesting and it includes a lost nebula !

Located in Taurus, Hind’s variable nebula (NGC1555) is about 4 light years across and 400 light years distant. It was discovered in 1852 by John Russell Hind. After discovery and over a period of several years, the objected slowly faded from view and eventually disappeared.  In the early 20th Century, it became visible again leading astronomers to categorise it as a variable nebula.

The object is a variable reflection nebula and is illuminated by the bright golden variable star T Tauri which can been seen at the centre of the image below. The very young star was born in the nebula and is pre-main sequence. The nebula changes in brightness as the clouds move around the star with the result is that the star and nebula do not appear to brighten at the same time.  

Another object, in the vicinity of Hind’s variable nebula, is known as Struve’s Lost Nebula. This was reported by Otto Wilhelm Struve in 1868 and verified by Heinrich d’Arrest. It was subsequently given a separate catalogue number (NGC1554) by Dreyer. It subsequently disappeared and is absent on photographic surveys.  It has been speculated that the nebula may have been a transient portion of the reflection nebula complex which extends around this region of space.  

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