‘Breathtaking’ Webb images that will reveal the secrets of star birth

'Breathtaking' Webb images that will reveal the secrets of star birth
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“Breathtaking” images of the stellar nursery in the Orion Nebula captured by the James Webb Space Telescope reveal the intricate details of how stars and planetary systems form.

The images released Monday shed light on an environment similar to our own solar system when it formed more than 4.5 billion years ago. Observing the Orion Nebula will help space scientists better understand what happened during the first million years Western University astrophysicist Els Peeters said in a news release that the Milky Way has planetary evolution.

“We are blown away by the breathtaking views of the Orion Nebula. We started this project in 2017, so we have been waiting for more than five years to get this data,” said Peeters.

“These new observations allow us to better understand how massive stars modify the cloud of gas and dust in which they are born,” Peeters added.

The inner region of the Orion Nebula as seen by the James Webb Space Telescope's NIRCam instrument.

The hearts of stellar nurseries like the Orion Nebula are shrouded in massive amounts of stardust, making it impossible to study what’s going on inside with instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope, which rely mostly on visible light.

However, Webb detects the infrared light of space, which allows observers to see these layers of dust. According to the statement, which reveals the movement taking place deep in the Orion Nebula. The images are the most detailed and sharpest images yet of the nebula, located 1,350 light-years from Earth in the constellation Orion, and the latest offering from the Webb Telescope. started operating in July.

“The Orion Nebula was difficult to observe because it is too bright for Webb’s unprecedentedly sensitive instruments. But Webb is incredible, Webb can observe distant and faint galaxies, as well as Jupiter and Orion, some of the brightest sources in the infrared sky,” said Olivier Berné, a research scientist at CNRS from the French National Center for Scientific Research. news release.

The new images reveal numerous structures within the nebula, including proploids – a central protostar surrounded by a disk of dust and gas from which planets form.

“We have never been able to see the fine details of how interstellar matter is formed in these environments, and understand how planetary systems can form in the presence of this harsh radiation. These images reveal the legacy of the interstellar medium in planetary systems,” said Emilie Hubart, associate professor at the Institute for Space Astrophysics (IAS) in France.

A trapezoidal cluster of young giant stars is also clearly visible at the center of the Orion Nebula, forming a cloud of dust and gas with intense ultraviolet radiation, according to the news release. Understanding how this radiation affects the cluster Environment is key to understanding the formation of star systems.

“Massive young stars still emit large amounts of ultraviolet radiation directly into the local cloud surrounding them, which changes the cloud’s physical shape as well as its chemical composition. How precisely this works and how it affects the formation of stars and planets is not yet well known,” Peeters said.

The images will be studied by an international collaboration of more than 100 scientists from 18 countries. Known as PDRs4All.

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