The center of a star-forming region like the Orion Nebula is obscured by dust clouds and cannot be seen with visible light telescopes, but JWST uses infrared light, so it can be seen through clouds.
The Orion Nebula captured by the Hubble Space Telescope (left) and the James Webb Space Telescope (right).
ASA, ESA, CSA, ERS Team PDRs4All; Olivier Berné image processing.
The image captures a lot of detail, and you can even see structures in the Great Nebula which is about the size of our solar system.
“A number of thick filaments are clearly visible. Within these filament structures, a new generation of stars may be forming deep within clouds of dust and gas. A star system that is already in the process of formation. You can also see it,” said Olivier Berné of the French National Center for Scientific Research, one of the team members who led the project, in a statement from Western University.
“Inside the cocoon, young stars are surrounded by a disk of dust and gas, and planets are seen forming within the disk. New stars are also pushed into the clouds by strong radiation and stellar winds. You can clearly see how the hole was cut.”
Edwin Bergin, a member of the research team and director of astronomy at the University of Michigan, said he and others hope the image will “enhance our understanding of the full cycle of star formation.” stated in the statement.
“In this image, we can see the ring where the first generation stars radiate the material that makes up the next generation of stars. Observing this incredible structure will help us predict stars in the Milky Way galaxy and beyond. We’ll be able to learn more about how the birth cycle works,” said Burgin.
The inner structure of the Orion Nebula captured by the James Webb Space Telescope.
NASA, ESA, CSA, Data reduction and analysis : PDRs4All ERS Team; graphical processing S. Fuenmayor & O. Berne
Launched in December 2021, JWST began operations in July 2022 and has so far captured spectacular images of the Tarantula Nebula and Jupiter’s auroras. He also found water vapor on a Jupiter-sized planet 21,150 light years away.
In August, images from the JWST and the Hubble Space Telescope were combined to create a stunning image of a “phantom galaxy” that belongs to the class of “large design spiral galaxies”.
［原文: New photos show the Orion Nebula, a star nursery 1,350 light years from Earth, in great detail. Scientists have been waiting for them for 5 years.］
(Translated by Fumiko Nakata, edited by Toshihiko Inoue)