vdB 30; Camelopardalis
KAF-16803 FLI Proline
Total Exposure Time: 9.8 hours LHaRGB 120:290:60:60:60 min, HaRGB data 2x2 binned
September 2012; Inkom, ID
Comments: This is a modest size reflection nebulae. Size: 20 arcmin. Very faint. Color is mixture of emission and reflection nebulae. Illuminating star: BD +66 358. Below can be seen the same nebula, but without the hydrogen alpha data. This 5 hour image demonstrates how very faint this object really is! The curved gas is the stars bow shock seen in hydrogen-alpha.
Alpha Camelopardalis is considered a runaway star. The distance and speed of Alpha Cam is somewhat uncertain. It is probably somewhere between 1,600 and 6,900 light-years away and moving at an astonishing rate of somewhere between 680 and 4,200 kilometers per second (between 1.5 and 9.4 million miles per hour). Astronomers believe runaway stars are set into motion either through the supernova explosion of a companion star or through gravitational interactions with other stars in a cluster. Because Alpha Cam is a supergiant star, it gives off a very strong wind. The speed of the wind is boosted in the forward direction the star is moving in space. When this fast-moving wind slams into the slower-moving interstellar material, a bow shock is created, similar to the wake in front of the bow of a ship in water. The stellar wind compresses the interstellar gas and dust, causing it to heat up and glow. ref