NGC/IC Objects

Frosty Leo: Reflection Nebula (Leo) RA: 09h 39.9m / DEC: +11° 58'.9
Instrument: 18-inch Obsession

The Frosty Leo nebula (IRAS 09371+1212) came to the attention of the larger amateur astronomical community in the mid-1990's. A March 1996 thread in the sci.astro.amateur Internet newsgroup generated a flurry of interest in observing this small but high surface brightness nebula. This 11th magnitude reflection nebula is presented in the sketch at left. My drawing captures a 399X view in the 18-inch Obsession. The nebula resides just 52" south-southwest of a 12th magnitude GSC star. This roughly 12"x8" patch first appears featureless. But continued observation reveals some interesting details.

Frosty Leo I've focused on just the nebula and nearby GSC star in the sketch at right. One of the first details to emerge was the subtle hint of an indentation along the northeast side of the Frosty Leo. While studying this feature, I was occassionally distracted by a stellar point along the south edge. This point of light was consistently visible in the same location with averted vision, so I added it to my drawing.

How did this object get it's nickname? Astronomers have detected water ice in the spectral signature of this reflection nebula. You'll find the Frosty Leo about 2 degrees north of naked eye 14 (Omicron) Leonis.

Egg Nebula Gyulbudaghian's Nebula


Navigation Image, see text links below Web Links Glossary Sketching Astrophotography Planetary Observing Deep-sky Observing Getting Started About Cosmic Voyage Home

Home | About Cosmic Voyage | Getting Started | Deep-sky Observing | Planetary Observing | Astrophotography | Sketching | Glossary | Web Links


Layout, design & revisions © W. D. Ferris
Comments and Suggestions:

Revised: November 7, 2005 [WDF]