NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured a never-before-seen view of the Tarantula Nebula, a stellar incubator packed with thousands of young stars.
The nebula is so named because of the appearance that its dusty filaments produce. It has long been a favorite of astronomers for studying the process of star formation. In addition to young stars, the web also spotted distant galaxies in the background; He found out the detailed structure and composition of the gas and dust of the nebula.
Located 161,000 light-years away in the Milky Way’s companion dwarf galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud, it is the largest and brightest star-forming region in the Local Group. Along with the Milky Way and Andromeda, several other neighboring galaxies also join the Local Group.
In Webb’s near-infrared camera (NIRCam), the region looks like a tarantula sorrel laced with abalone. The void in the nebula shown in this photo was created by radiation from a young, massive star cluster; These stars glow faintly blue in the photo. Only the surrounding area of the nebula can withstand the erosion caused by the powerful stellar winds, forming columns that seem to point back toward the cluster. These clusters contain protostars that will gradually emerge from the dust and begin stellar life.
One of the reasons the Tarantula Nebula is of great interest to astronomers is that it has the same type of chemical composition as the giant star-forming regions that astronomers see at “cosmic noon,” when the universe was only a few billion years old and Star formation was at its peak.
Star-forming regions in the Milky Way aren’t producing new stars at the same crazy rate as the Tarantula Nebula; At the same time, they have a different chemical composition. Therefore, the Tarantula Nebula is the closest example of what was happening in the universe when it reached bright noon.
Prepared from nasa.gov