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NASA released the latest image from its James Webb Space Telescope on Tuesday, showing tens of thousands of young stars in a stellar nursery dubbed the “Cosmic Tarantula.”
The nebula, located 161,000 light-years away, is the largest star-forming region of all the galaxies near the Milky Way.
Radiation from the young stars, which glow pale blue, has opened a cavity in the nebula that can be seen in the center of the image.
“Only the denser surrounding areas of the nebula resist erosion by the powerful stellar winds from these stars, forming pillars that appear to point toward the cluster,” NASA explained. “These pillars contain forming protostars, which will eventually emerge from their dusty cocoons and take their turn to shape the nebula.”
NASA PUBLISHES JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE IMAGE OF GHOST GALAXY
Astronomers have long studied the Tarantula Nebula, which got its name because of its resemblance to the home of a burrowing tarantula, but Webb’s near-infrared camera brought it into sharper focus than ever.
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It is the latest revelation about the universe revealed by Webb, who is orbiting 1 million miles from Earth.
The telescope can capture infrared radiation for a new view of planets, stars and galaxies, as well as the first direct image of a planet outside our solar system.