Horsehead Nebula (NIRCam Image)

Horsehead Nebula (NIRCam Image)

This image of the Horsehead Nebula from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope focuses on a portion of the horse’s “mane” that is about 0.8 light-years in width. It was taken with Webb’s NIRCam (Near-infrared Camera). The ethereal clouds that appear blue at the bottom of the image are filled with a variety of materials including hydrogen, methane, and water ice. Red-colored wisps extending above the main nebula represent both atomic and molecular hydrogen. In this area, known as a photodissociation region, ultraviolet light from nearby young, massive stars creates a mostly neutral, warm area of gas and dust between the fully ionized gas above and the nebula below. As with many Webb images, distant galaxies are sprinkled in the background.

This image is composed of light at wavelengths of 1.4 and 2.5 microns (represented in blue), 3.0 and 3.23 microns (cyan), 3.35 microns (green), 4.3 microns (yellow), and 4.7 and 4.05 microns (red).



NASA, ESA, CSA, Karl Misselt (University of Arizona), Alain Abergel (AIM Paris-Saclay)

About The Object
Object Name Horsehead Nebula, Barnard 33
Object Description Star-forming region
R.A. Position 05:40:52.62
Dec. Position -02:28:47.49
Constellation Orion
Distance 1,300 light years
Dimensions Image is about 2.1 arcminutes across
About The Data
Data Description This image was created with Webb data from proposal (K. Misselt)
Instrument NIRCam
Exposure Dates 30 January 2024
Filters F140M, F250M, F300M, F323N, F335M, F430M, F405N, F470N
About The Image
Color Info These images are a composite of separate exposures acquired by the NIRCam instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope. Several filters were used to sample various wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic (grayscale) image associated with an individual filter. In this case, the assigned colors are: Blue= F140M, F250M, Cyan=  F300M, F323N, Green= F335M, Orange=F430M, Red= F405N, F407N
About The Object
Object Name A name or catalog number that astronomers use to identify an astronomical object.
Object Description The type of astronomical object.
R.A. Position Right ascension – analogous to longitude – is one component of an object's position.
Dec. Position Declination – analogous to latitude – is one component of an object's position.
Constellation One of 88 recognized regions of the celestial sphere in which the object appears.
Distance The physical distance from Earth to the astronomical object. Distances within our solar system are usually measured in Astronomical Units (AU). Distances between stars are usually measured in light-years. Interstellar distances can also be measured in parsecs.
Dimensions The physical size of the object or the apparent angle it subtends on the sky.
About The Data
Data Description
  • Proposal: A description of the observations, their scientific justification, and the links to the data available in the science archive.
  • Science Team: The astronomers who planned the observations and analyzed the data. "PI" refers to the Principal Investigator.
Instrument The science instrument used to produce the data.
Exposure Dates The date(s) that the telescope made its observations and the total exposure time.
Filters The camera filters that were used in the science observations.
About The Image
Image Credit The primary individuals and institutions responsible for the content.
Publication Date The date and time the release content became public.
Color Info A brief description of the methods used to convert telescope data into the color image being presented.
Orientation The rotation of the image on the sky with respect to the north pole of the celestial sphere.