How to Find the Bow Tie Nebula, Caldwell 2

How to Find the Bow Tie Nebula, Caldwell 2

Bow tie nebula

This lovely little planetary nebula can be found in Cepheus.

Caldwell 2, the bow tie nebula is a planetary nebula approximately 3,500 light years away. It was discovered by Herschel in Nov 1788. It is thought that in 30,000 years it will become a white dwarf star the size of Earth. 

Other Names:

Caldwell 2

NGC 40

Telescope Image to Scale:

Caldwell 2 from a telescope

This image is 30 arc minutes by 30 arcminutes which is about the size of the full moon.


Magnitude = 10.6

Surface Brightness = 7.5

Telescope Aperture City Suburbs Rural Dark Sky
4 inches 9 10 11 12.5
5 inches 9.5 10.5 11.5 13
6 inches 10 11 12 13.5
8 inches 10.5 11.5 12.5 14
10 inches 11 12 13 14.5

Use this chart to estimate if you can see the object from your location with your telescope. For more help on using this chart click here.

How to See It:

The bow tie nebula can be found in the constellation of Cepheus. This constellation is a northern hemisphere circumpolar constellation. It can be found in the crosshairs on the chart below. It's co-ordinates are: RA 00h 13m 48.72 DEC +72° 35′ 58.8″ if you are using guiding software.

How to find Caldwell 2, the Bow tie nebula

To find more space objects have a look at the constellation guide by clicking the link or go back to the list of deep space objects.

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