Soul nebula

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Soul nebula
W5 cropped.jpg
Observational Data
Designation Westerhout 5
IC 1848 (cluster)
Right ascension 02h 55m 24s[1]
Declination +60° 24′ 36″[1]
Constellation Cassiopeia
Type of object Emission nebula
Dimensions 150′ x 75′[1]
Magnitude Apparent mag: +18.3[2]
Absoulte Mag: +6.5[1]
Redshift -0.000098±0.000028[3]
Distance from Earth 7,500 ly[1]
Radial velocity -29.24±8.54 km/s[3]
Proper motion RA: -2.51 mas/yr[3]
Dec.: -0.70 mas/yr[3]

The Soul nebula (Westerhout 5) is an emission nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia.[1] It forms a well known pair with the nearby Heart nebula (only 2.5 degrees) called the "Heart and Soul" nebula. These nebula are in fact connected via a bridge of gas. The nebula is also known as the Embryo nebula or IC 1848, the Index Catalogue designation of an open cluster contained within the nebula. The nebula is located near several interesting deep sky objects including the Fishhead nebula as well as the galaxies Maffei 1 and Maffei 2.[1]

Properties and Structure

With an apparent size of some 150 arc minutes, the nebula's distance of 7,500 light years means it has a physical size of around 100 light years.[1] When the Heart nebula is included, the Heart and Soul nebula span around 300 light years of space. The nebula houses a few open star clusters, their designations being CR 34, CR 632, CR 634 and IC 1848 which is also sometimes used to refer to the nebula itself. Also located near the nebula are three small emission nebulae, with designations IC 1871, IC 670, IC 669. Stellar winds from stars within the nebula are producing pillars of gas and dust that point towards the centre of the nebula. Stars are also located at their tips. These pillars are thought to be around 10 light years long.[1] A large radio source is located in the nebulae. Designated Westerhout 5 (W5), it appears four times greater than the Moon. The appearance of the nebula in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum follows a similar pattern to the optical.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Soul nebula from
  2. Calculated using definition of absolute magnitude and the values for the absolute magnitude and distance used here
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 IC 1848 from
  4. Kaifu, N.; Morimoto, M., Radio Observations of Four Diffuse H II Regions. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, [Online]. 21, 203-210. Available at:SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (Accessed 20 January 2018).