Galactic Nebula IC 4603

IC 4603
IC 4603: Nebula with the star cluster in the center of the Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud. Infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope [460]

Object Description

The reflection nebula IC 4603 (LBN 1109) lies roughly in the center of the large area of nebula called Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud, which spans an area of about 4.5° × 6.5°. This also includes IC 4604, IC 4605, the Antares nebula vdB 107, Sharpless 2-9 and many dark clouds. The IC numbers were discovered in 1882 by the American astronomer Edward Barnard, who also recorded the dark clouds B 42, B 44 and B 45. The star cluster in the center is surrounded by dense dust and is only visible on infrared images. [196, 239, 270, 277]

Rho Ophiuchi Wolkenkomplex
Rho Ophiuchi Wolkenkomplex: In visible light (DSS) and Infrared (WISE) [147]

The Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud, also called Rho Ophiuchus Cloud, is an area with active star formation, which is one of the closest to us at a distance of only about 407 light years. X-ray and infrared observations revealed more than 300 young stars within the large cloud in the center. The age of these stars is estimated to be only 300,000 years - very young compared to the oldest stars in the universe, which are more than twelve billion years old. [460]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
DesignationIC 4603
Right Ascension16h 25m 24.0s
Declination-24° 28' 00"
Diameter35 × 20 arcmin
Metric Distance0.120 kpc
Dreyer DescriptioneF, vL, dif, st inv
Identification, RemarksLBN 1109, ESO 517-*N2, CED 131A
Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud
Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud: Star forming region with open cluster Collinder 302 with Ophiuchus molecular cloud (Antares Nebula vdB 107, nebula IC 4603, ρ Ophiuchi nebula IC 4604, nebula IC 4605, Sharpless 2-9, many dark clouds), plus globular clusters M 4 and NGC 6144. North is left; Canon EOS 20Da, zoom lens 131 mm f:5.6 ; 145 min @ ISO 1600; Astrofarm Tivoli, Namibia, 1345 m ü. M.; © 5. 6. 2011 Eduard von Bergen, Hansjörg Wälchli

Finder Chart

The nebula IC 4603 is located in the constellation Ophiuchus (Serpent Bearer) about one degree south of the 5 mag star ρ Ophiuchi, or about two degrees north of the bright star Antares (α Scorpii) in the constellation Scorpius (Scorpio). The best observation time is April to August.

Chart Galactic Nebula IC 4603
Galactic Nebula IC 4603 in constellation Ophiuchus. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


147Aladin Lite; (2020-12-23)
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
239«On the dark markings of the sky, with a catalogue of 182 such objects» Barnard, E. E.; Astrophysical Journal, 49, 1-24 (1919); DOI:10.1086/142439; Bibcode:1919ApJ....49....1B
270«Catalogue of Bright Nebulae» Lynds, Beverly T.; Astrophysical Journal Supplement, vol. 12, p.163 (1965); DOI:10.1086/190123
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
460Young Stars in Their Baby Blanket of Dust; (2021-12-30)