NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope continues to provide astronomers with unprecedented views of the universe. On Tuesday, the space agency released a stunning image of a star-forming region taken with the James Webb’s Sharp Infrared Instrument, showing thousands of previously unseen young stars in a stellar cradle.
The imaged star-forming region stretches across a staggering 340 light-years. Astronomers officially call this region “Dorados 30”; But because of its long, dusty filaments, it has a more appealing nickname: the tarantula nebula.
Amazing new detail, thanks to the $10 billion space telescope, shows the nebula’s gas and dust, as well as distant background galaxies. With these new details in the image, we can now see that Dorados 30, originally called a tarantula because of its spider-like appearance, also resembles a nesting tarantula’s house covered in silk.
The tarantula nebula image is the latest in a series of stunning images published by James Webb; The telescope that was launched in January of last year and released its first photos on July 21.
A comparison of two different images of the Tarantula Nebula region shows the difference between James Webb’s near-infrared (near visible red, left) and mid-infrared (far visible red, right) images.
The Tarantula Nebula is located 161,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud and is the brightest star-forming region in one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way. Because of this, it was already a very spectacular region in telescopes. The collection of galaxies adjacent to the Milky Way, together with this galaxy itself, is called the local group or local galaxy cluster.
The tarantula nebula is of particular importance to astronomers who study how stars form. This nebula has a similar chemical composition to star-forming regions from when the universe was only a few billion years old; As a result, it provides a unique insight into how stars formed in the distant past of the universe.
To view the image of the tarantula nebula in original size on This link click.