NASA has just revealed a stunning new image of the Pillars of Creation as taken by its new James Webb Space Telescope.
The US space agency shared the new photo earlier today on its official James Webb Twitter account.
“You can’t escape its clutches,” Nasa wrote in the post. “Just in time for #Halloween, the Pillars of Creation reach back out like a ghostly hand.”
The “eerie landscape” was captured by Webb’s mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) to showcase new details of the space scene.
Surrounded by gas and dust, the pillars envelop stars that are slowly forming over several millennia.
Nasa revealed that tens of thousands of stars have formed in this region, located in the Eagle Nebula about 6,500 light-years away.
And although Webb’s mid-infrared light showcases in great detail where dust is, the stars aren’t bright enough to be viewed.
Nasa explained further: “Many newly formed stars are no longer surrounded by enough dust to be detected in mid-infrared light.
“Instead, MIRI observes young stars that have not yet cast off their dusty cloaks.
“These are the crimson orbs toward the fringes of the pillars. In contrast, the blue stars that dot the scene are aging, which means they have shed most of their layers of gas and dust.”
Most read in News Tech
Mid-infrared is excellent for observing gas and dust in fine detail, depicting cooler gas as bright red and dense areas as shades of gray.
Not seen in the image are background galaxies and that’s because the interstellar medium is the densest part of the Milky Way’s disk.
Meaning, this area is too filled with gas and dust to allow their distant light to penetrate.
Nasa first captured the Pillars using its Hubble Space Telescope in 1995.
The agency then revisited them in 2014, but many other observatories, like Nasa’s Spitzer Space Telescope, have also photographed them.
“With every observation, astronomers gain new information, and through their ongoing research build a deeper understanding of this star-forming region,” Nasa said.
“Each wavelength of light and advanced instrument delivers far more precise counts of the gas, dust, and stars, which inform researchers’ models of how stars form.”
175 total views, 1 views today