Webb telescope captures Pillars of Creation in great detail

Thursday, 20 October 2022 (17:47 IST)
The James Webb Space Telescope captured an image of the Pillars of Creation, enormous spires of interplanetary gas and dust, recreating the awe-inspiring image that caught the world's attention when it was shown for the first time in 1995.

The image, unveiled by NASA on Wednesday, showed the colossal gold, copper and brown columns with bright red, lava-like spots at the ends of several pillars.

This is what you’ve waited for.

Journey with us through Webb’s breathtaking view of the Pillars of Creation, where scores of newly formed stars glisten like dewdrops among floating, translucent columns of gas and dust: https://t.co/5ea1kCzU5x

Here’s your guided tour  pic.twitter.com/jFiDDrMUPl

— NASA Hallo-Webb Telescope  (@NASAWebb) October 19, 2022

The Pillars are located in the Eagle Nebula of the Milky Way, 6,500 light years away from Earth.

In 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope, Webb's predecessor, presented images of the Pillars of Creation leaving space enthusiasts spellbound. In 2014, Hubble revisited the famous Pillars revealing a much sharper and clearer image.

Witnessing newly formed stars

The James Webb Space Telescope, at present nearly one million miles from Earth, captured the image of the Pillars covering an area of about eight light years.

The near-infrared wavelengths, which are undetectable to the human eye, were recorded and subsequently "translated" into visible light creating the image.

The bright red orbs seen just outside of the pillars "are ejections from stars that are still forming," NASA said in a statement. These are only a few hundred thousand years old, according to the space agency.

Even through the pillars' opacity, Webb's infrared vision can see several young stars developing.

Peering into the cosmos

Webb, the most powerful space telescope ever built, has been operational since July.

The $10-billion project is expected to revolutionize the study the life cycle of stars and research of planets outside Earth's solar system.

NASA expects Webb's image of the Pillars of Creation "will help researchers revamp their models of star formation by identifying far more precise counts of newly formed stars, along with the quantities of gas and dust in the region."

Read on Webdunia

Related Article