NASA’s Webb Telescope takes a picture of the star-studded Pillars of Creation

The pillars of Creation stand out in a kaleidoscope of color in the near-infrared view of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The columns look like arches and pillars emerging from a desert landscape, but they are filled with translucent gas and dust, and are constantly changing. This is a region where young stars are forming, or just barely emerging from their dusty cocoons as they continue to form. Download the full, uncompressed version and supporting images from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Anton M. Cuquemore (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI).

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has captured lush and highly detailed landscapes of a region, the famous Pillars of Creation, where new stars form within thick clouds of gas and dust. The 3D pillars look like majestic rock formations, but they are much more porous. These plumes consist of fresh interstellar gas and dust that are sometimes translucent in near-infrared light.

New Pillars of Creation webview – first made public when taking pictures With NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in 1995It will help researchers renew their models of star formation by determining more accurate numbers of newly formed stars, along with the amounts of gas and dust in the region. Over time, scientists will begin to develop a clearer understanding of how stars form and emerge from these dusty clouds over millions of years.

Two images of the Pillars of Creation, the region of star formation in space.  On the left, the visible-light view of Hubble shows darker columns rising from the bottom to the top of the screen, ending with three dots.  The background is opaque, shaded with yellow and green at the bottom and blue and purple at the top.  A bunch of stars of different sizes appear.  Webb's near-infrared image on the right shows the same bars, but the image

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope made the Pillars of Creation famous with its first image in 1995, but it revisited the scene in 2014 to reveal a larger, sharper view in visible light, shown above. A new near-infrared view from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, right, helps us see more through the dust in this star-forming region. The thick, dusty brown pillars are no longer opaque, and many red stars are still forming.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI; Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Anton M. Cuquemore (STScI), Alyssa Pagan (STScI).

Newly formed stars take center stage in this image from a near-infrared webcam (NIRCam). These are bright red orbs that usually have diffraction spikes and are located outside a plume of dust. When a sufficiently massive knot forms inside the gas and dust plumes, they begin to collapse under their own gravity, slowly heat up, and eventually form new stars.

And what about those wavy, lava-like lines on the edges of some columns? These are ejecta from stars that are still forming inside the gas and dust. Young stars periodically release hypersonic jets that collide with clouds of material, such as these thick plumes. This also sometimes causes shock waves, which can form undulating patterns like a ship moving through the water. The crimson glow comes from energetic hydrogen molecules produced by jets and shock waves. This is evident in the second and third pillars from above: the NIRCam image is practically buzzing with activity. These young stars are estimated to be only a few hundred thousand years old.

Although near-infrared light may appear to have allowed Webb to “penetrate” the clouds to reveal vast cosmic distances outside the plumes, there are no galaxies in this view. Instead, a mixture of transparent dust and gas known as the interstellar medium in the densest part of the disk of our Milky Way obscures our view of the innermost universe.

This scene was first captured by Hubble in 1995 s Visited again in 2014, but many other observatories have also looked closely at this area. Each advanced tool provides researchers with new details about this region, which is literally teeming with stars.

This highly cropped image is located within the Great Eagle Nebula, which is 6,500 light-years away.

Download the full, uncompressed version of the file Webb . near infrared imagesupporting images, Comparison of Hubble Images and the Webs Web image video tour From the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb will solve the mysteries of our solar system, see beyond the distant worlds around other stars, and explore the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners: the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

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