About the Object

Category: Galaxies

NGC 1433 (MIRI Image - Annotated)

This image of the nearby galaxy NGC 1433, captured by Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) shows compass arrows, scale bar, and color key for reference.

The north and east compass arrows show the orientation of the image on the sky. Note that the relationship between north and east on the sky (as seen from below) is flipped relative to direction arrows on a map of the ground (as seen from above). At the lower right is a scale bar labeled 7,000 light-years, 30 arcseconds. The length of the scale bar is approximately one-fifth the total width of the image. Below the image is a color key showing which MIRI filters were used to create the image and which visible-light color is assigned to each filter. In the image of NGC 1433, blue, green, and red were assigned to Webb’s MIRI data at 7.7, 10 and 11.3, and 21 microns (the F770W, F1000W and F1130W, and F2100W filters, respectively).

This image taken by the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope shows one of a total of 19 galaxies targeted for study by the Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby Galaxies (PHANGS) collaboration. Nearby barred spiral galaxy NGC 1433 takes on a completely new look when observed by Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).

NGC 1433’s spiral arms are littered with evidence of extremely young stars releasing energy and, in some cases, blowing out the gas and dust of the interstellar medium they plough into. Areas that once appeared dark and dim in optical imaging light up under Webb’s infrared eye, as clumps of dust and gas in the interstellar medium absorb the light from forming stars and emit it back out in the infrared.

Webb’s image of NGC1433 is a dramatic display of the role that dynamic processes within the forming stars, dust, and gas play in the larger structure of an entire galaxy.

At the centre of the galaxy, a tight, bright core featuring a unique double ring structure shines in exquisite detail, revealed by Webb’s extreme resolution. In this case, that double ring is actually tightly wrapped spiral arms that wind into an oval shape along the galaxy’s bar axis.

NGC 1433 is classified as a Seyfert galaxy, a galaxy relatively close to Earth that has a bright, active core. The brightness and lack of dust in the MIRI image of NGC 1433 could hint at a recent merger or even collision with another galaxy.

MIRI was contributed by ESA and NASA, with the instrument designed and built by a consortium of nationally funded European Institutes (The MIRI European Consortium) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in partnership with the University of Arizona.


NASA, ESA, CSA, and J. Lee (NOIRLab), A. Pagan (STScI)

About the Image

Id: weic2306b
Type: Chart
Release date: 16 February 2023, 17:00
Related releases: weic2306
Size: 1985 x 1733 px

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