You are currently viewing The James-Webb Telescope takes us deep into the Tarantula Nebula

The James-Webb Telescope takes us deep into the Tarantula Nebula

The large Tarantula Nebula, located just 160,000 light-years from the Milky Way in the dwarf galaxy of the Large Magellanic Cloud, has been surveyed by the James-Webb Telescope. Here is what we see there.

During his first two months of scientific activity, James Webb has already entertained us a lot with his observations, here JupiterFeatured exoplanet, etc. Among all his targets, there are quite a few spiral galaxies who passed in front of his eyes sensitive in the infrared. Each time, an extraordinary spectacle that reveals the clouds of gas and dust interconnected throughout the galaxy. The penetrating view of JWST brings researchers closer to the deepest secrets ofUniverse.

The Tarantula Nebula surveyed by Nircam

With this new image, James-Webb reveals the hidden side of a nebula very active and relatively close to Earth: 30 Doradus, better known as the Tarantula Nebula. The reference tospider comes from its evocative form when observed in the visible. However, as Nasa rightly illustrates, it should rather be seen as a tarantula’s nest. More precisely, a tarantula burrow lined with threads…

A burrow dug in the ground, because it is really a cavity that we observe in the heart of the cloud. It is formed by the breath of thousands of stars concentrated in the cluster, and visible in blue on the image of the instrument Nircam (near infrared camera). It’s those radiant young stars full ofenergy who never stop pushing back the gangue of matter in which they were born, several tens of thousands of years ago.

What we see is therefore only a part of the immense web of gas that runs through the entire galaxy, in this case a dwarf galaxy very close and interacting with the Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The Tarantula Nebula in Miri’s Eyes

On the other image of the same region, this time translated from mid-infrared observations made with Miri (James-Webb’s other camera), the star cluster is no longer visible. Instead, we can admire in unprecedented detail — what a marvel! — the reliefs in the dark matter and cold which composes the vast cloud and sculpted by the stars which hide there.

Since we were talking about a terrier, the space telescope here reveals to us in a way the underground environment which underlies this very active region in our vicinity. Its dark, cloudy ground, its interconnected filaments from which emerging stars. Moreover, if you look closely, you can see several “baby” stars caught trying to get rid of their coat gas.

A new cosmic spectacle as striking as it is fascinating offered by the telescope James Webb.

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