Steamy Star in NGC 1333
Ssc2007 14b

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. A. Gutermuth (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

Observation • • ssc2007-14b


This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a stellar nursery called NGC 1333. Spitzer discovered that a pre-planetary disk of dust surrounding an embryonic star within this region, called NGC 1333-IRAS 4B, is drenched with water vapor.

NGC 1333 is located about 1,000 light-years away in the Perseus constellation. It is a cloud of gas and dust that is busy manufacturing new stars. Spitzer surveyed four of the very youngest stars in this region and 26 others elsewhere, but found only one, NGC 1333-IRAS 4B (see inset), with water vapor. This might be because NGC 1333-IRAS 4B is in just the right orientation for Spitzer to view deep inside the developing star system and detect the water vapor.

About the Object

NGC 1333IRAS-4b
Nebula > Type > Star Formation
Nebula > Appearance > Reflection
1,000 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 3.6 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 4.5 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 5.8 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 8.0 µm Spitzer IRAC


Position ()
RA =3h 29m 42.3s
Dec = 31° 18' 44.8"
Field of View
0.0 x 0.0 arcminutes
North is up