Southern Ring Nebula (NIRCam Image)

Stsci_2022-033b_1024

stsci_2022-033b July 12th, 2022

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

The bright star at the center of NGC 3132, while prominent when viewed by NASA’s Webb Telescope in near-infrared light, plays a supporting role in sculpting the surrounding nebula. A second star, barely visible at lower left along one of the bright star’s diffraction spikes, is the nebula’s source. It has ejected at least eight layers of gas and dust over thousands of years.

But the bright central star visible here has helped “stir” the pot, changing the shape of this planetary nebula’s highly intricate rings by creating turbulence. The pair of stars are locked in a tight orbit, which leads the dimmer star to spray ejected material in a range of directions as they orbit one another, resulting in these jagged rings.

Hundreds of straight, brightly-lit lines pierce through the rings of gas and dust. These “spotlights” emanate from the bright star and stream through holes in the nebula like sunlight through gaps in a cloud.

But not all of the starlight can escape. The density of the central region, set off in teal, is reflected by how transparent or opaque it is. Areas that are a deeper teal indicate that the gas and dust are denser – and light is unable to break free.

Data from Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) were used to make this extremely detailed image. It is teeming with scientific information – and research will begin following its release.

This is not only a crisp image of a planetary nebula – it also shows us objects in the vast distances of space behind it. The transparent red sections of the planetary nebula – and all the areas outside it – are filled with distant galaxies.

Look for the bright angled line at the upper left. It is not starlight – it is a faraway galaxy seen edge-on. Distant spirals, of many shapes and colors, also dot the scene. Those that are farthest away – or very dusty – are small and red.

For a full array of Webb’s first images and spectra, including downloadable files, please visit: https://webbtelescope.org/news/first-images

NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center.

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://webbtelescope.org/contents/news-releases/2022/news-2022-033

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
NGC 3132 Southern Ring Nebula Eight-Burst Nebula
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula > Type > Planetary

Distance

Universescale1
2,000 light years
Stsci_2022-033b_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 10h 7m 1.7s
DEC = -40° 26’ 11.2”
Orientation
North is 112.0° CW
Field of View
2.4 x 2.3 arcminutes
Constellation
Vela

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Webb (NIRCAM) Infrared 900.0 nm
Cyan Webb (NIRCAM) Infrared 1.9 µm
Green Webb (NIRCAM) Infrared 2.1 µm
Yellow Webb (NIRCAM) Infrared 3.6 µm
Red Webb (NIRCAM) Infrared 4.1 µm
Red Webb (NIRCAM) Infrared 4.7 µm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Cyan
Green
Yellow
Red
Red
Stsci_2022-033b_1280
×
ID
2022-033b
Subject Category
B.4.1.3  
Subject Name
NGC 3132, Southern Ring Nebula, Eight-Burst Nebula
Credits
NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team
Release Date
2022-07-12T11:00:00
Lightyears
2,000
Redshift
2,000
Reference Url
https://webbtelescope.org/contents/news-releases/2022/news-2022-033
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance in lightyears
Facility
Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb, Webb
Instrument
NIRCAM, NIRCAM, NIRCAM, NIRCAM, NIRCAM, NIRCAM
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Yellow, Red, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
900, 1870, 2120, 3560, 4050, 4700
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
2000.0
Reference Value
151.75705520150, -40.43643336052
Reference Dimension
4833.00, 4501.00
Reference Pixel
2401.40007552582, 2371.89879593347
Scale
-0.00000833440, 0.00000833440
Rotation
-111.98886592188
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
World Coordinate System resolved using PinpointWCS 0.9.2 revision 218+ by the Chandra X-ray Center FITS X FITS Y EPO X EPO Y 2206.70 914.57 4112.34 1257.25 1099.00 598.45 1897.25 625.23 175.12 1135.99 49.57 1700.22 422.51 2370.20 543.99 4168.22 1395.88 2344.53 2492.05 4116.80 2501.50 2348.05 4703.17 4124.08 Center Pixel Coordinates: 2416.50 151.75589466051 2250.50 -40.43594097824
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://hubblesite.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://hubblesite.org/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STSCI-J-p22033b-f-4833x4501.tif
Metadata Date
2022-07-02T16:23:12-04:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
2,000 light years