(ORDO NEWS) — On Monday, an international research team received the first images of the Orion Nebula from the James Webb Space Telescope.
The Star Nursery is located in the constellation Orion, located 1350 light-years from Earth, in a setting similar to that in which our solar system was born more than 4.5 billion years ago.
The images were taken as part of the Early Release Science program and attracted more than 100 scientists from 18 countries, collaborating with institutions such as the French National Center for Scientific Research, Western University in Canada and the University of Michigan.
The nebulae are obscured by a large amount of dust, which makes it impossible to observe with optical telescopes, but Webb operates mainly in the infrared spectrum.
Webb has discovered numerous impressive structures, up to 40 astronomical units in size. They contain dense filaments of gas that can give birth to new generations of stars and also form star systems.
“We hope to understand the full cycle of star birth,” said Edwin Bergin, a researcher at the University of Michigan.
“In this image, we see the first generation of stars irradiating material for the next generation. The incredible structures that we are seeing will tell in detail how the cycle of stellar birth occurs in our galaxy and beyond.”
Webb is the most powerful space telescope ever built. It has a 6.5 meter primary mirror consisting of 18 gold-coated hexagonal segments and a tennis court-sized five-pane solar glass.
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