The most powerful space telescope ever built continues to send dazzling images of the universe from orbit a million miles from Earth .
The latest stunning image from the James Webb Space Telescope shows the Tarantula Nebula, described by NASA as “a stellar birth region 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of our Milky Way .”
The Importance of the Tarantula Nebula
NASA said the Tarantula Nebula got its name from the dusty filaments visible in previous images captured by other telescopes and is a favorite of astronomers with a special interest in star formation. This is because the nebula’s chemical composition and development are similar to the massive star forming regions observed at the so-called “cosmic noon” of the universe, when the universe was only a few billion years old and star formation was at its peak.
Also known as 30 Doradus , the void of the nebula you can see in the center of the image is carved by intense radiation from a cluster of giant young stars that appear as dots of blue light in the image. “The densest areas around the nebula form columns that appear to rotate toward the cluster, resisting erosion by these stars’ strong stellar winds,” NASA said. says.
Astronomers have a lot to learn about how stars form, but Webb’s advanced infrared cameras give us access to new kinds of images that reveal events behind thick clouds where stars are born .