The Orion Nebula, which formed more than 4.5 billion years ago, is full of colorful gas, molecular material, dust and scattered starlight, and a new image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST ) from NASA is the first to look at the cosmic formation. center, allowing researchers to better understand how massive stars are born from the colossal cloud of dust and gas.
The image shows an open cluster of young massive stars shaping the cloud of dust and gas with their intense radiation and dense filaments that may play a key role in the birth of new stars.
The nebula was previously photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004, but this device uses visible light and its view was obscured by large amounts of stardust.
JWST, however, detects infrared light from the cosmos, allowing observers to see through these layers of dust and peer into its cosmic center, a region that has only now been seen by human eyes.
The Orion Nebula, located 1,350 light-years from Earth, is said to be similar to our own solar system, which scientists believe could provide clues to what happened in the first million years of the our planetary evolution.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured the most detailed image of the Orion Nebula 1,344 light-years from Earth, which experts say could provide clues about the first million years of our own system solar
A nebula is the name given to a giant cloud in space made of dust, which are also areas where new stars are born; the Orion Nebula is believed to have created thousands of new stars.
The new starts emit light, which in turn causes the gas cloud to turn stunning reds, blues and greens.
The Orion Nebula is about 24 light-years across (a light-year is about six trillion miles) and is the closest large star-forming region to Earth, allowing it to sometimes be seen at a glance
NASA previously said the landscape of dust and gas is similar to the plateaus, mountains and valleys reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.
The image shows an open cluster of young massive stars shaping the colossal cloud of dust and gas with its intense radiation and dense filaments that may play a key role in the birth of new stars.
The nebula was previously photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope (left) in 2004, but this instrument uses visible light and its view was obscured by large amounts of stardust. James Webb (right) is able to capture infrared light, allowing it to look beyond the dust
“In this bowl of stars, we see the entire history of Orion’s star formation imprinted on the nebula’s features: arcs, spots, pillars and rings of dust that resemble cigar smoke,” he shared NASA in a blog post.
“Each feature tells a story of stellar winds from young stars affecting the stellar environment and material ejected from other stars.”
Western astrophysicist Els Peeters and his team have been working on this project for five years and are proud to finally share the data with the world.
“These new observations allow us to better understand how massive stars transform the cloud of gas and dust in which they are born,” said Peeters, a Western professor of astronomy and faculty member at the Institute for Earth Exploration and the ‘Space.
He went on to explain that massive young stars release large amounts of ultraviolet radiation into the surrounding cloud and this changes the shape of the cloud, along with its chemical composition.
However, how this works affects stars at a greater distance and planet formation still remains a mystery.
JWST captured the massive young “trapezium cluster” at the center, which shapes the cloud of dust and gas with its intense ultraviolet radiation.
The Trapezium Cluster refers to the young open star cluster at the center of the nebula and has always been hidden due to surrounding dust obscuring scientists’ view.
Here is an image showing a larger area surrounding the Orion Nebula
The new images also show different structures within the nebula, such as proplyds, which consist of a central protostar surrounded by a disk of dust and gas in which planets are found.
And there are several dust-embedded protostellar jets, outflows, and nascent stars scattered throughout the images.
Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS) associate professor Emilie Habart said in a statement: “We have never been able to see the intricate details of how interstellar matter is structured in these environments and find out how planetary systems can form in the presence of this hard radiation.
“These images reveal the inheritance of the interstellar medium in planetary systems.”
The James Webb Telescope: NASA’s $10 billion telescope is designed to detect light from the first stars and galaxies
The James Webb Telescope has been described as a ‘time machine’ that could help unlock the secrets of our universe.
The telescope will be used to look back to the first galaxies born in the early universe more than 13.5 billion years ago and observe the sources of stars, exoplanets and even the moons and planets of our solar system.
The vast telescope, which has already cost more than $7 billion (£5 billion), is seen as a successor to the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
The James Webb Telescope and most of its instruments have an operating temperature of about 40 Kelvin, about minus 387 Fahrenheit (minus 233 Celsius).
It is the largest and most powerful orbiting space telescope in the world, capable of looking back 100 to 200 million years after the Big Bang.
The orbiting infrared observatory is designed to be about 100 times more powerful than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA likes to think of James Webb as a successor to Hubble rather than a replacement, as the two will work in tandem for some time.
The Hubble telescope was launched on April 24, 1990 by the space shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It circles the Earth at a speed of about 17,000 mph (27,300 km/h) in low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles.
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