[MUST SEE] New details of the Tarantula Nebula revealed by the James Webb Telescope

[MUST SEE] New details of the Tarantula Nebula revealed ;s by the James Webb Telescope

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The James Webb Space Telescope on Tuesday unveiled sublime images of the Tarantula Nebula, a region of the cosmos where stars are born at a breakneck pace, and whose images will deepen scientific knowledge about star formation. 

Nicknamed for the shape of its clouds of gas and dust, the Tarantula Nebula is located “just 161,000 light-years away,” NASA wrote in a statement. It is the largest and most luminous star-forming region of the entire group of galaxies near our own, and is home to the hottest and most massive stars known.

Although this nebula is thus long a target of choice for scientists studying the process of star formation, these images allow to reveal new details, including thousands of young stars hitherto invisible to the eyes of previous telescopes.

< p>Several scientific instruments on board James Webb were used to capture images of the nebula, at different wavelengths. 

At the center of the image taken by the NIRCam instrument, which operates in near infrared, is a cluster of very bright young blue stars.

Another instrument, NIRSpec, allowed him to distinguish a star just emerging from its pillar of dust, while maintaining a cloud around it — a stage in its formation that could not have been observed. without the incredible abilities of James Webb. Researchers previously thought that this star was actually older, and at a more advanced stage.

“The star-forming regions within our Milky Way galaxy do not produce stars same frenetic pace as the Tarantula Nebula, and have different chemical compositions,” explained NASA.

Its chemical composition is of great interest to researchers because it is similar to regions where formed stars when the cosmos was only a few billion years old, when star creation was at its peak.

Launched into space last Christmas and fully operational for only a few months, the James Webb telescope has been carrying out its observations 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

According to the American space agency, this engineering gem “has only just begun to rewrite the history of stellar creation.”