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A rendering of the James Webb Telescope. (illustrative photo)
SPACE – This is the image that many were waiting for, as majestic as expected. The James Webb Telescope revealed this Wednesday, October 19, its first view of the iconic “Pillars of Creation”, enormous structures of gas and dust full of stars in formation (see the image below).
The twinkling of thousands of stars illuminates the entire image, above which these gigantic brown and orange columns rise in the immensity of the cosmos.
Deep red areas at the end of several of the pillars evoke lava. Is about’“star ejections still in development”, just a few hundred thousand years, NASA said in a statement. These “Young stars periodically launch supersonic jets that collide with clouds of material, like these thick pillars. »
the “Pillars of Creation” They are located 6,500 light years from Earth, in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Specifically, they are found in the Eagle Nebula.
They were made famous by the Hubble Space Telescope, which took a first snapshot of them in 1995 and revisited them in 2014.
But thanks to its infrared capabilities, the James Webb Telescope, launched into space less than a year ago, can pierce the opacity of the pillars, revealing many new stars in formation: bright red balls.
This image covers an area of about eight light-years.
“By popular demand, we had to do the Pillars of Creation” with James Webb, Klaus Pontoppidan, science program manager at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the telescope from Baltimore, tweeted Wednesday. “There are so many stars! »
By popular demand, we had to do the Pillars of Creation with #JWST. The nebula, M16, is right in the plane… https://t.co/dzJzuphUrZ
— Klaus Pontoppidan (@pontoppi)
“The Universe is magnificent! »NASA astrophysicist Amber Straughn also exclaimed.
This image, which covers an area about eight light-years across, was taken by the NIRCam instrument, which operates in the near-infrared, a wavelength invisible to the human eye. The colors in the picture have been like this “translated” in visible light.
According to NASA, this new image “It will help researchers revise their models of star formation, identifying a much more accurate count of newly formed stars, as well as the amount of gas and dust in this region. »
James Webb, whose first color images were released in July, is making his observations 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
One of the main purposes of this $10 billion telescope is to study the life cycle of stars. Another main line of research is the study of exoplanets, that is, planets outside the solar system.
See also in The HuffPost :
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