Obtained image of the Orion Nebula from the Webb Telescope

An international team of astronomers has presented the first images of the Orion Nebula from the James Webb Space Telescope. This is reported in a press release on Phys.org.

The nebula, where new stars are forming, is located in the constellation Orion, 1,350 light years from Earth. Conditions there resemble those that existed during the birth of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago.

The images were obtained as part of the Early Release Science program, which involved more than 100 scientists from 18 countries, including the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Western University in Canada and the University of Michigan in the United States. The new observations provide insight into how massive stars transform the gas-dust cloud in which they are born, the experts said.

The nebulae are obscured by large amounts of dust, making it impossible to observe with visible-light telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope. However, Webb works mostly in the infrared spectrum, capturing radiation that penetrates through the dust.

This has revealed many structures as large as 40 astronomical units, or the size of the solar system. These include dense filaments of matter that may have produced new generations of stars, as well as emerging stellar systems consisting of a central protostar surrounded by a disk of dust and gas.

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