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W3: Giant Molecular Cloud

ype of Object:  W 3 is a giant moelcular cloud and HII (ionized hydrogen gas) region - similar in nature to the Great Orion Nebula. The region is a site of massive star formation.

Distance: 9,900 light years
Size: About 100 lyr in diameter
Coordinates (Epoch J2000):
         Right Ascension:   
2 27 3.9
         Declination:            +61 52 25.0

Other Names: IC1795

Radio Brightness at 1420 MHz (21 cm): 28 Jy

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Location on the sky: The giant molecular cloud W3 is located in the constellation Cassiopea as shown in the firgure to the right. Since Cassiopea is a northern circumpolar constellation, W3 can be seen all year round in the northern hemisphere.

Images shown below, at different wavelengths, cover a
0.5 degree x 0.5 degree area of the sky centered on the nebula.  The images are taken from  the SKYVIEW Virtual Observatory maintained under NASA ADP Grant NAS5-32068 with P.I.
Thomas A. McGlynn under the auspices of the High Energy Astrophysics Science  Archive Research Center (HEASARC) at the GSFC Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics. SKYVIEW contains catalogs and surveys from x-ray to radio observations. The site is located at http://skyview.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Visible image from the digitized Palomar Sky Survey E plates.  The supernova remnant is obvious in this visible image.

Far-Infrared Image at 100 microns taken by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) Survey. Shows extended nebulosity near W3.

Image taken at the radio emission of neutral hydrogen at 1420 MHz by the NRAO VLA Sky Survey.  Shows bright radio sources offset from the center of  the SNR.

Image taken at the radio emission frequency of 4850 MHz. Image shows the gas component..  Image is from a Green Bank survey from 0 to +75 declination).

[Orion Nebula] [crab_nebula] [W3] [cas_a] [cygnus_a] [her_a] [vir_a] [galactic_center] [sgp] [ngp]