Embryo Nebula (NGC 1333)

NGC 1333
NGC 1333: Cluster with nebula in Perseus; 500 mm Cassegrain f=3625 mm f/7.2; SBIG STL11K; 120+3*40 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2011 Radek Chromik [32]


The galactic nebula NGC 1333 was discovered on 31 December 1855 by the German astronomer Eduard Schönfeld. The nebula has been the subject of much research. The earliest goes back to Edwin Hubble in 1922. [196, 336]

Physical Properties

NGC 1333
NGC 1333: Infrared image taken with Spitzer Space Telescope [351]

NGC 1333 is a bright reflection nebula and is currently the most active area of star formation in the western part of the Perseus molecular cloud. The nebula mainly reflects the light of the B8 spectral class star BD +30°549. It is also home to an open cluster of around 150 young stars with a mean age of one million years and around 100 solar masses, which is divided into two subgroups. The reflection nebula is associated with the dark cloud L1450, also known as Barnard 205. A CO emission cloud extends from there about 1° to the south. The surrounding molecular cloud contains numerous cavities with filaments of dense gas, which, due to the stellar winds, point away from the most active centers of star formation. The molecular mass of the NGC 1333 region is estimated to be around 450 solar masses and the distance to be around 300-350 parsecs (around 980 to 1100 light years). [336, 351]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Designation NGC 1333
Type RN
Right Ascension (J2000.0) 03h 29m 18.0s
Declination (J2000.0) +31° 25' 00"
Diameter 6 × 3 arcmin
Metric Distance 0.296 kpc
Dreyer Description F, L, * 10 nf (Auw No 17)
Identification, Remarks GC 710; LBN 741

Finder Chart

The galactic nebula NGC 1333 is located in the constellation Perseus. The best time to observe is August to March, when the circumpolar constellation is highest at night.

Finder Chart Embryo Nebula (NGC 1333)
Embryo Nebula (NGC 1333) in constellation Perseus. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

Visual Observation

400 mm aperture: With a 21 mm Ethos eyepiece (85x) and without a filter, only a very faint, elongated, diffuse spot without any structure around the star is barely recognizable. The position can be easily identified from the surrounding stars, since the area there is relatively poor in stars. With an O-III or H-beta filter, nothing can be seen of the nebula. This suggests a reflection nebula. With a 9 mm Nagler eyepiece (200x) the nebula remains weak and diffuse and without structure. You can see a few faint asterisks in the diffuse something. The object is not visually appealing. — Taurus T400 f/4.5 Dobsonian, Hasliberg Reuti, 6. 11. 2021, Bernd Nies

Objects Within a Radius of 15°