NGC 1333 is catalogued as a reflection nebula in Perseus, but is actually part of the Perseus OB2 molecular cloud complex, and an area of active star formation.
The density of gas and dust in this region is great enough to cause many different effects of illumination and emission. NGC 1333 appears near the dark nebulae Barnard 1 and Barnard 2. It appears as a 9 arcminute oval with an 11th magnitude star embedded in the nebula. Along the southern edge is a bright patch, and to the north and south of are the dark dust clouds of Barnard 1 and 2.
In visible light images, dusty NGC 1333 sports the bluish hues characteristic of starlight reflected by dust. But at longer infrared wavelengths, the interstellar dust itself glows. A penetrating infrared view also shows youthful stars that would otherwise be obscured by the dusty clouds which formed them.
The gaseous structure of NGC 1333 has also been mapped at radio wavelengths, and suggests star formation as well. Lumpy and filamentary cloud structure exists in NGC 1333, indicating recent fragmentation and collapse of the parent molecular cloud. In addition, a series of cavities and shells exist, presumably blown out by the outflows of infant protostars.
This star-forming region, located roughly 1,000 light-years from Earth, harbors hundreds of newly formed stars less than one million years old. Many of these protostars exhibit energetic activity, such as jets and strong stellar winds. At least 36 Herbig-Haro objects, produced by outflows ejected during the first few hundred thousand years of life of the young stars, have also been identified in NGC 1333. All in all, the chaotic scene likely resembles one in which our own Sun formed over 4.5 billion years ago. —————————-Equipment. Rokinon 135mm f/2.8 “Ultra Wide Field” + QSI583ws +Paramount ME. Image acquisition from Deep Sky West Remote Observatory, in New Mexico. #canonphotography #nikon #pictureoftheday #pictures
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