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James Webb’s image reveals never-before-seen details on Pillars of Creation



James Webb’s image reveals never-before-seen details on Pillars of Creation

December 5, 2022 at 12:05 am
2 min read

The Pillars of Creation are located 6,500 light-years away in the Eagle Nebula (Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI)

A new image courtesy of NASA’s James Webb The Space Telescope (JWST) has revealed unprecedented details about the Pillars of Creation. This new composite image was created by combining data from Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).

The stars are the main highlight of this image. In fact, newly formed stars are also spotted in this image.

Why is this story important?

  • The Pillars of Creation were first photographed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 and later in 2014. It is a star forming region surrounded by dust and gas. It is located in the Eagle Nebula, 6,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens.
  • The latest Webb images fuse information from two different wavelengths, revealing never-before-seen details.

Dust is one of the main ‘ingredients’ of star formation

Pictured here, the spire-like pillars appear to be filled with dust, one of the main ingredients for star formation.

“When knots of gas and dust of sufficient mass form in the pillars, they begin to collapse under their own gravity, slowly heating up, and eventually forming new stars,” NASA said.

Details have been captured in near-infrared and mid-infrared light

Thousands of new stars were found in near-infrared light, seen as “bright orange spheres” near the pillars.

The orange V-shaped dust cloud at the top of the image was captured in mid-infrared light.

However, dust and gas between the stars, as well as dust from our galaxy, obscures our view of the distant universe.

New stars can continue to form for millions of years

The red outliers at the top of the second bar indicate new star formation. These stars are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of years old and will continue to form for millions of years.

During the formation phase, stars emit periodic jets. These outflows interact with the gaseous dust-filled pillars, creating a “lava-like” region.





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