NASA reveals impressive photos of the Tarantula Nebula, never so well observed

Author: Clark Tos
2022-09-12 16:23:02

NASA just revealed photographs of the Tarantula Nebula captured by the James Webb Telescope. Stretching over 340 light years, it is a region called 'Tarantula Nebula' where stars are formed. It is made up of tens of thousands of young stars and was not visible before because old telescopes like Hubble were unable to penetrate the cosmic dust that surrounds it.

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO

NASA notes that the Tarantula Nebula, located 161,000 light-years away, is the largest and brightest star-forming region of the galaxies closest to the Milky Way and is home to the stars hottest and largest known to mankind. It was observed using three of the James Webb Telescope's powerful cameras: the Near Infrared Camera, under which it looks like a silk-covered spot of a tarantula (hence its nickname), the Near Infrared Spectrograph, which showed a star forming, and the mid-infrared instrument, which uses longer infrared wavelengths to illuminate cooler gases and dust.

historical photographs

The Tarantula Nebula is of great interest to astronomers because it is the closest area to the Milky Way which has very peculiar chemical compositions, similar to those of the rapid period of star growth. “when the cosmos was only a few billion years old and star formation was at its peak” explain the NASA . The space agency adds: “Star-forming regions in our galaxy are not producing stars at the same furious rate as the Tarantula Nebula, and have a different chemical composition. This makes the Tarantula the closest example of what was happening in the universe when it reached its brilliant peak. »

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO

Source : NASA