Into the Spider-Verse: A giant space tarantula caught by NASA’s Webb telescope

In this mosaic image stretching 340 light-years across, Webb's Near-Infrared Camera displays the Tarantula Nebula star-forming region in a new light.
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Webb’s Near Infrared Camera shows the star forming region of the Tarantula Nebula in new light in this mosaic image spanning 340 light-years. (NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI/Webb ERO Production Team)

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PASADENA, California — A giant space tarantula was captured by a Webb – NASA’s highly sensitive James Webb Space Telescope, aka.

Located 161,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, the Tarantula Nebula is the nickname of 30 Doradus, “the largest and brightest star forming region in the Local Group, the closest galaxies to the Milky Way.” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

It houses the hottest and largest stars known to astronomers, resembling a burrowing tarantula’s silk and home line, according to NASA.

According to NASA, the Webb telescope’s Near Infrared Camera, also called NIRCam, has helped researchers see the region “in a new light, including tens of thousands of previously unseen young stars covered in cosmic dust.”

The densest surrounding areas of the nebula resist erosion by stellar strong winds, forming columns that seem to point to the cluster and holding the first stars to form.

These protostars emerge from their “dusty cocoon” and help shape the nebula. In doing so, the Webb telescope’s Near Infrared Spectrograph captured a very young star, which changed astronomers’ previous beliefs about that star.

According to NASA, “Astronomers previously thought this star might be a little older and is already in the process of clearing a bubble around itself”. “However, NIRSpec has shown that the star has just begun to emerge from its column and still maintains an insulating dust cloud around itself.

“Without Webb’s high-resolution spectra at infrared wavelengths, this segment of star formation in action would not have been revealed.”

Viewed through another Webb instrument, which detects longer infrared wavelengths and therefore penetrates dust grains in the nebula, reveals an “unprecedented cosmic environment”—hot stars faded as colder gas and dust glowed, NASA said.

The Tarantula Nebula has long been the focus of astronomers studying star formation because it has a chemical structure similar to the massive star-forming regions of the universe at cosmic noon—when the cosmos is only a few billion years old and star formation is most imminent. peak, according to NASA.

Because the star forming regions in our galaxy do not produce stars at the same rate as the Tarantula Nebula and have a different chemical composition, the Tarantula is the closest example to what occurs in the universe when it reaches noon.

Capturing star formation in the Tarantula Nebula is the latest discovery by NASA’s Webb telescope.

A few days ago NASA released stunning new images It showcases the Phantom Galaxy, a spiral of the solar system 32 million light-years from Earth by the Webb telescope and Hubble Telescope. According to the European Space Agency, which collaborated with NASA on Hubble and Webb, the galaxy is located in the constellation Pisces.

Webb launched on Christmas Day last year After decades of work to create the world’s largest and most advanced space telescope.

NASA publishes Webb’s for the first time first high resolution images just weeks ago in July.

The telescope, larger than Hubble, allows scientists to learn about early star formation by observing extremely distant galaxies. Hubble orbits the Earth, but Webb revolves around the sunIt’s about 1 million miles from Earth.

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