NewsNASA's James Webb Space Telescope Captures 'Giant Cosmic Tarantula'

    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Captures ‘Giant Cosmic Tarantula’

    The Webb Telescope’s near-infrared camera has made it possible to see in unprecedented detail the area of ​​the Tarantula Nebula, 161,000 light-years from Earth, the largest and brightest star-forming region of the so-called Local Group of galaxies.

    NASA released the latest image from its James Webb Space Telescope on Tuesday, showing tens of thousands of young stars in a stellar nursery dubbed the “Cosmic Tarantula.”

    The Tarantula Nebula, located 161,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, is the largest and brightest star-forming region of the so-called ‘Local Group’, a grouping of galaxies that includes the Milky Way.

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    The Local Group, with a total diameter of about 3 megaparsecs (10 million light-years), is home to the hottest and most massive stars known.

    Astronomers focused three of Webb’s high-resolution infrared instruments on Tarantula. Seen with the Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam), the region resembles the silk-lined burrow of a burrowing tarantula.

    The Webb Telescope’s near-infrared camera has helped researchers see the region “in a new light, including tens of thousands of never-before-seen young stars that were previously shrouded in cosmic dust.”

    Radiation from a cluster of massive young stars, which glow pale blue, has opened a cavity in the nebula that can be seen in the center of the image.

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    Only the denser surrounding areas of the nebula resist erosion by strong stellar winds, forming pillars that appear to point toward the cluster. These pillars contain forming protostars that “will emerge from their dusty cocoons and shape the nebula,” NASA explained.

    Astronomers have long studied the Tarantula Nebula, but Webb’s near-infrared camera brought it into sharper focus than ever.

    The nebula has been the focus of scientists studying star formation because its chemical composition is similar to that of giant star-forming regions during a period known as ‘cosmic noon,’ when the cosmos had only billion years and star formation was just beginning.

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    Source: RT

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