The James Webb Telescope takes a beautiful shot of the Tarantula Nebula

The Tarantula Nebula from the James Webb Telescope. Sumptuous shots that could lift the veil on star formation.

The Tarantula Nebula has been photographed by several observatories in the past, but new pictures captured by the telescope James Webb now offer us a clearer and more precise view of this region. Also known as 30 Doradus, the Tarantula Nebula is the largest nebula known to date, making it a favorite subject for scientists studying star formation.

The Tarantula Nebula from the James Webb Telescope

Astronomers used three of the telescope’s infrared instruments to take this shot of the Tarantula Nebula. When viewed via the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), one can see the filaments, which gave his name to the nebula, surrounding a cluster of huge young stars glowing blue in the center of the image above. According to NASA, tens of thousands of these young stars have never been observed before, hidden in cosmic dust. Stellar winds and radiation from these young stars have carved out the center of the nebula, which is constantly changing shape. The filaments surrounding them hide even more protostars, these will emerge to join the other stars in the center by moving the gas and dust away from our view.

Sumptuous shots that could lift the veil on star formation

The Near Infrared Spectrograph of james webb telescope even observed one of these stars beginning to emerge from behind the dust. NASA says the star’s activity would not otherwise be revealed without the telescope’s high-resolution infrared spectrum. The astronomers also used the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) to view the nebula at longer infrared wavelengths and capture a somewhat different image than that taken by NIRCam. This time, the young stars in the center of the nebula fade into the background, while the cooler gases and dust surrounding them shine and jump out in front of us, as you can see below.

Tarantula Nebula, by MIRI NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

As NASA explains, the Tarantula Nebula is of particular interest to scientists studying star formation, because it features a chemical makeup similar to nebulae that existed when the universe was not around. was only a few billion years old and star formation was at its peak. In our own galaxy, there is no region producing new stars at such a rate. Moreover, these regions in the Milky Way have a different composition. By pointing the telescope at the Tarantula Nebula, scientists now have images to compare to numerous sightings of galaxies much more distant, which could help better understand the early days of our universe.

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