California nebula – in narrowband

A while back I had the opportunity to image the California nebula (NGC 1499) with my Astronomik narrowband filters. This nebula is so called, as it resembles the shape of the state of California as seen on a map. In fact, I have rotated the image so it corresponds to how California would look on the USA map.This is a relatively bright emission nebula in the constellation Perseus. It is relatively large measuring 145.0 x 40.0 arcmin (or 2.5 degrees long) according to SkySafari Pro.

H-alpha 50 x 3 min subs @ Gain 200

O-III 48 x 3 min subs @ Gain 200

S-II 25 x 3 min subs @ Gain 200

California nebula - H-alpha, O-III and S-II image
California nebula – H-alpha, O-III and S-II image

With the nebula oriented as the image above, I can understand why it has been called California nebula, as it does look like California state. But if it was oriented horizontally, I would have though it looked more like a Crocodile head with the black spot in the nebula looking like the Crocodile’s eye. However, my daughter says it looks more like a duck’s head with its beak pointing to the left.

Does it look like a crocodile head or a duck's head?
Does it look like a crocodile head or a duck’s head?

Boon