Jellyfish Nebula (IC 443)

IC 443
IC 443: Galaktic nebula in Gemini; 500 mm Cassegrain 3625 mm f/7.2, SBIG STL11K; 90+3*40 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2011 Radek Chromik [32]
IC 443
IC 443: Jellyfish Nebula in Gemini; Takahashi TSA-120 f=900 mm; Canon EOS 20Da; 4 x 8 min, ISO 800; Gurnigel; © 2. 4. 2011 Jonas Schenker [34]

Object Description

IC 443 was discovered on 25 September 1892 by the German astronomer Max Wolf. [196] Because of its appearance, the nebula was nicknamed the «Jellyfish Nebula», not to be confused with the Medusa Nebula (Abell 21). Not only do both objects have a similar name (Medusa is the scientific name for jellyfish), they also have a similar appearance. In contrast to Abell 21, IC 443 is a supernova remnant and not a planetary nebula. The pulsar wind nebula with the neutron star CXOU J061705.3+222127 was identified as the origin of the supernova. A jet-like structure was discovered in IC 443, which appears to emanate from the neutron star. The distance to IC 443 is about 1.9 kpc (6200 light years) and the age is estimated to be about 30'000 years. [307, 359]

Revised+Historic NGC/IC Version 22/9, © 2022 Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Designation IC 443
Type SNR
Right Ascension (J2000.0) 06h 16m 36.0s
Declination (J2000.0) +22° 31' 00"
Diameter 50 × 40 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude 12.0 mag
Metric Distance 1.500 kpc
Dreyer Description F, narrow, curved
Identification, Remarks LBN 844; VMT 9; Sh2-248

Finder Chart

The galactic nebula IC 443 is located at the star Propus (η Gem) in the constellation Gemini, which is best visible from October to April.

Finder Chart Jellyfish Nebula (IC 443)
Jellyfish Nebula (IC 443) in constellation Gemini. Charts created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. Limiting magnitudes: Constellation chart ~6.5 mag, DSS2 close-ups ~20 mag. [149, 160]

Visual Observation

400 mm aperture: With O-III filter and 21 mm Ethos eyepiece the brightest sickle shaped part of this nebula is visible only with averted vision. It looks a bit like the Medusa Nebula (Abell 21) but much fainter. Without filter and with H-beta no nebula can be seen. Larger aperture or darker sky required. — Taurus T400 f/4.5 Dobsonian, Bernd Nies, Glaubenberg Langis, 28 February 2022

Objects Within a Radius of 15°


  • [32] Astrofotografie by Radek, Bernie and Dragan;
  • [34] Astrofotographie von Jonas Schenker;
  • [149] SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
  • [160] The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
  • [196] Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
  • [277] «Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
  • [307] «Interstellar anatomy of the TeV gamma-ray peak in the IC443 supernova remnant» P. Dell’Ova1, A. Gusdorf, M. Gerin, D. Riquelme, R. Güsten, A. Noriega-Crespo, L. N. Tram, M. Houde, P. Guillard, A. Lehmann, P. Lesaffre, F. Louvet, A. Marcowith and M. Padovani; A&A Volume 644, December 2020; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/202038339
  • [359] «Discovery of a jet-like structure with overionized plasma in the SNR IC 443» Emanuele Greco, Marco Miceli, Salvatore Orlando, Giovanni Peres, Eleonora Troja and Fabrizio Bocchino; A&A Volume 615, July 2018; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201832733