How do you make a stunning image even more incredible? Just ask the James Webb Space Telescope.
NASA’s $10 billion telescope has captured some dazzling images thousands of light-years away, and new images released Wednesday give us a fresh look at the famous Pillars of Creation, where young stars are formed.
The Pillars of Creation, about 6,500 light-years away in our galaxy’s vast Eagle Nebula, were first observed by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995, when the star-forming region appears with columns of “cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust” that serve as incubators for new stars.
But the new images, taken with the telescope’s near-infrared camera, allow astronomers to see beyond the pillars and see almost everything that happens in the formation.
“Newly formed stars are the scene-stealers in this image,” NASA said in a statement. “These are the bright red spheres that typically have diffraction peaks and lie outside one of the dusty pillars. When knots of sufficient mass form in the pillars of gas and dust, they begin to collapse under their own gravity, slowly warming up and eventually forming new stars.” to shape.”
NASA estimates that the stars in the image are hundreds of thousands of years old.
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The lava-like lines along the edges of pillars aren’t just clouds either; NASA says it’s feces from stars still forming in the pillars. This results in the formation of “arc shocks”, which form the undulating patterns. The reddish glow at the top of the pillars is also the result of the young star ejections.
The image will allow researchers to better understand star formations, such as how much gas and dust is near the young stars. The goal is to eventually understand how stars form (form in the clouds and eventually erupt over millions of years).
James Webb Telescope photos are dazzling: What you need to know about the NASA space camera.
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Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.