NGC 1333

NGC 1333
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

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This image was featured on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Magnitude:  ? (faint)
Size: about 9'
Distance: 1000 light years
RA: 03h 29m 29s
Dec: 31 degrees 23' 07"

NGC 1333 is located in the constellation Perseus and is a beautiful example of a reflection nebula.  Stars forming within this nebula are less than a million years old, which is young by stellar standards.  Blue light emitted by the central star is preferentially scattered by surrounding dust (resulting in the characteristic blue color of the reflection nebula).  Focal patches of hydrogen gas in this region glow in reddish-brown light, representing Ha emission induced by ultraviolet radiation from nascent stars forming within the nebula.  Much of this region is filled with dense dust that obscures visible light emitted from protostars within the nebula.   However, the Spitzer infrared telescope is capable of revealing many of the underlying stars and associated stellar jets that emit in the infrared (a wavelength that penetrates the heavy dust shroud surrounding this region).  Like NGC 7023 and the Cocoon Nebula, this region is comprised of all three main nebulosities:  reflection, emission, and dark.  More information about this region may be found here.

Photographic Details:

Date:  September 29, 2006
Takahashi FS102 at f6, on the G11 Losmandy Mount.
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  FLI Maxcam CM10
Astronomik Type II Clear, R, G, B filter set.
Exposures:  LRGB.  32 x 4' Luminance; 4 x 5' R; 4 x 5' G; 6 x 8' B (all unbinned).
Conditions:  Temperature 65 down to 50 degrees F during session; above average transparency; average seeing; a little breezy.
Debloomed with Ron Wodaski's Debloomer software, followed by calibration and alignment in Maxim.  Sigma combined using RC Sigma Reject MaximDL, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Further processing in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).
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