In this mosaic image spanning 340 light-years across, a near-infrared webcam shows the star-forming region of the Tarantula Nebula in new light. (NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI/Webb ERO production team)
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Pasadena, CA – A giant space spider has been captured by Webb – NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, i.e.
At 161,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud Galaxy, the Tarantula Nebula is the nickname of 30 Doradus, “the largest and brightest star-forming region in the Local Group, the closest galaxies to the Milky Way,” according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
According to NASA, the main line of the lab-grown tarantula family is similar to its silk, and features the hottest and most massive stars known to astronomers.
The Webb Telescope’s Near Infrared Camera, also called NIRCam, helped researchers see the region “in new light, including tens of thousands of young, never-before-seen stars that were previously surrounded by cosmic dust,” according to NASA.
The denser surroundings of the nebula resist erosion by strong stellar winds, forming plumes that appear to point back toward the cluster and hold up the forming protostars.
These protostars emerge from their “dusty cocoons” and help form the nebula. The Webb Telescope’s near-infrared spectrum has captured a very young star doing so, changing astronomers’ previous beliefs about this star.
According to NASA: “Astronomers previously thought this star might be a little older and is already in the process of clearing a bubble around itself.” “However, NIRSpec showed that the star was just beginning to emerge from its plume and still maintains an isolated cloud of dust around it.
“Without high-resolution Webb spectra at infrared wavelengths, this ring of star formation would not have been possible to detect in action.”
Viewing through another Web instrument that detects longer infrared wavelengths, and thus penetrates dust grains in the nebula, revealed a “previously unseen cosmic environment” — hot stars faded while cooler gas and dust glowed, NASA said.
The Tarantula Nebula has long been a focus of interest for astronomers who study star formation because it has a chemical composition similar to that of the giant star-forming regions of the cosmic noon — when the universe was a few billion years old and star formation was early. Its peak, according to NASA.
Since the star-forming regions of our galaxy do not produce stars at the same rate as the Tarantula Nebula and have a different chemical composition, the Tarantula is the closest example of what happened in the universe when noon arrived.
Capturing star formation in the Tarantula Nebula is the latest discovery by NASA’s Webb Telescope.
Just a few days ago, NASA released Amazing new photos Produced by the Webb Telescope and Hubble Telescope showing the Phantom Galaxy, a vortex of solar systems 32 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy is located in the constellation of Pisces, according to the European Space Agency, which collaborates with NASA on Hubble and the Web.
Webb was launched on Christmas Day last year After decades of work to create the world’s largest space telescope.
NASA first released Webb’s The first high-resolution photos Just weeks ago in July.
The telescope, larger than the Hubble telescope, is able to spot very distant galaxies, allowing scientists to learn about the early formation of stars. Hubble orbits the Earth, but Web orbiting the sunabout a million miles from Earth.
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